38 Studios

Leave it to Rhode Island to provide a counter-narrative to the notion that the news slows down in summer, right? Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Ian Donnis

State Police and Attorney General Peter Kilmartin will pursue no criminal charges after a years-long investigation into 38 Studios, the company that won a $75 million public subsidy to move to Rhode Island, then went bankrupt, leaving taxpayers on the hook.

In announcing results of the investigation, State  Police Col. Steven O'Donnell said a bad business deal doesn't necessarily provide grounds for a criminal indictment.

RIPR file photo

The plan to improve the Port of Providence and a proposal to build a new power plan in Burrillville have stirred vigorous debates in recent weeks. 

Gov. Gina Raimondo has scheduled a sit-down with plant opponents. Rhode Island. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders if these plans will reprise the 20th Century battles  between environmentalists and business and labor interests. 

Happy June, and thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

The Bottom Line: 30 Years In Business

May 27, 2016

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment, The Bottom Line.

This week, in honor of the 30th anniversary of Providence Business News, attorney Jack Partridge joins Mark and Dave to discuss the big business milestones of the past 30 years.  

When to listen:

You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50 p.m.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you: news@ripr.org.     

    

Cumberland State Representative Karen MacBeth, who last week changed her party affiliation from Democrat to Republican, announced Monday that she will run for the Republican nomination for the U.S. House in the First District, a seat currently held by Democrat David Cicilline of Providence.

Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Scott Jensen, director of the state Department of Labor and Training, joins Political Roundtable to discuss the Real Jobs RI training program, fallout from 38 Studios, and persistent delays at DLT's call center.

John Bender / RIPR

The US Securities & Exchange Commission on Monday announced that it has charged Wells Fargo Securities and the state agency formerly known as the Economic Development Corporation with defrauding investors in the municipal bond offering used to finance 38 Studios in Rhode Island.


Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment, The Bottom Line.

After the passing of former Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci, Mark and Dave discuss his legacy from a business perspective. 

Cianci was known as a great champion for Providence, who oversaw major improvements in the economy, but Murphy says he also created a culture of fear among business owners.

When to listen:

You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50pm.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Testimony is slated to be heard during a session Friday, related to the state’s lawsuit over 38 Studios.

One of the defendants being sued by the state, Wells Fargo Securities, is trying to obtain the SEC testimony of Michael Saul. Saul is a former deputy director of the state’s economic development agency.

Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. There's lots going on, so we'll get right to it.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The key sponsor of the bill later used to attract 38 Studios to Rhode Island returned to the Statehouse from his current out-of-state job Thursday evening, distancing himself from responsibility in an hours-long meeting that was rich in theatrics yet thin on fresh details.

Former House Finance Committee chairman Steven Costantino said he set the $125 million size of the job creation guarantee program passed in 2010, and then applied to 38 Studios, with the idea of helping a number of businesses.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Former Rhode Island House Finance Chairman Steven Costantino is scheduled to meet Thursday with the House Oversight Committee probing the 38 Studios disaster.

House spokesman Larry Berman says Costantino, who now works in state government in Vermont, will meet with the committee to discuss his role in shaping the program that gave the doomed 38 Studios video game company a $75 million taxpayer-guaranteed subsidy.

The committee is slated to meet after the House floor session ends Thursday. The confab is scheduled for room 101 at the Statehouse.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello sat down in his State House office last week to discuss his priorities for 2016 and his year as speaker.

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said he supports the basic premise of Governor Raimondo’s plan to pay for bridge improvements through truck tolls, during his wide-ranging end-of-year interview with Rhode Island Public Radio.

The governor’s infrastructure plan died in the 2015 legislative session when it did not get a vote in the House.

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