House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Majority Leader John DeSimone plan to meet with representatives of two leading credit-rating agencies in New York City Wednesday to gather information about the possible consequences of not paying back bondholders in the failed video game company 38 Studios.
According to a statement from House spokesman Larry Berman, "Tomorrow morning, they will have meetings scheduled with both Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s as part of their fact-finding mission to be fully informed about the repayment of the 38 Studios moral obligation bond. They will utilize this information, along with the input provided by the House Finance and Oversight Committees and the House members, to formulate a position on the bond repayment in the weeks ahead."
Last week, during a meeting of the House Oversight Committee, Robert Cusack of WhaleRock Point Partners reiterated advice he said he had offered to lawmakers a year earlier: that they should meet on the 38 Studios repayment question with the top credit-rating agencies and buyers of Rhode Island bonds.
Berman says Mattiello and DeSimone will be joined on the trip to New York by House chief of staff Leo Skenyon and chief legal counsel Richard Raspallo. The two leaders are expected back in time for Wedneday's House session, which will start at 4:30 p.m., instead of the usual 4 pm.
Governor Lincoln Chafee's budget proposal for the fiscal year starting July 1 includes $12.3 million to pay back bondholders in 38 Studios, which went bankrupt in 2012. Rhode Island taxpayers remain on the hook for about $90 million due to the company's collapse.