House Republicans Refuse to Support State Budget Proposal

Jun 19, 2013

The Republican leader in the Rhode Island House says he plans to vote against the state budget next week since it includes money to pay back 38 Studios’ bonds.

GOP leader Brian Newberry was one of two reps abstaining Tuesday when the House Finance Committee approved an 8-point-two billion dollar budget. The spending plan is for the fiscal year starting July first.

Yesterday afternoon, two state officials urged the state Senate to support paying back the 38 Studios’ bonds. They said failing to do so could run up the state’s borrowing costs and hurt Rhode Island’s reputation.

But Newberry said he’s not alone among 75 House lawmakers in opposing repaying the bonds.

“I would say if you asked people in their hearts, most people don’t want to pay it. Whether they will ultimately vote to pay it, that’s the open question," said Newberry.

The budget approved by the House Finance includes two and a half million dollars to pay back 38 Studios bond money due next May. It also funds a 50-thousand dollar study on whether repaying the bonds makes sense. Lawmakers say the study will be completed in time to potentially cancel the payment next May.

The money due to pay back 38 Studios bonds will increase to 12 and a half million dollars in 2015 and remain at that level for seven years.

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