38 Studios

Thanks for stopping by. The legislative year is almost over -- the traditional part, anyway -- but the political world always keeps spinning. I welcome your tips and thoughts at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

House Majority Whip Jay Edwards (D-Tiverton) joins Bonus Q+A this week to discuss the House budget; whether lawmakers should investigate 38 Studios; the criteria for considering a Providence ballpark; and much more.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The state has dropped unregistered lobbying cases against two of the figures linked to the failed video game maker 38 Studios. Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea is backing legislation that she said will clarify and strengthen the rules on lobbying.

The time for raking snow from the roof has given way to the delights of spring and inevitable complaints about heat and humidity. The General Assembly session is headed to busier times and other big issues are simmering. So thanks for stopping by. Feel free to drop me comments and tips at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and to follow me on the twitters.

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A Superior Court delayed a hearing scheduled for Friday about whether to release some of the documents in the state’s lawsuit over 38 Studios.

The state says the discovery process has concluded, so it’s a good time to unseal the previously confidential documents.

A lawyer for two of the defendants responds by saying all the documents in the case should be released at the same time, rather than in piecemeal fashion.

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Rhode Island state government has asked a state Superior Court judge to open to the public records related to the state’s civil suit against several financial companies and law firms in the long-running case to recover damages from those involved in the ill-fated 38 Studios bond deal.

    

After two snow-packed months, the apparent settling of the pension conflict, and Lincoln Chafee's surprising emergence as a possible presidential hopeful, Rhode Island confronts a sharp debate involving baseball, public dollars, and the future of the state. No pressure, right? Thanks, as always, for stopping by for my weekly column. Feel free to drop me a line at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and to follow me on the twitters. Here we go.

The debate over Rhode Island taxpayer support for a new stadium for the PawSox in Providence has started. RIPR Political Analyst Scott MacKay talks about state government’s next move.

Listening to the opening salvos in the Providence stadium debate reminds one of William Faulkner’s dictum about the American South: "The past is never dead. It isn’t even past.’’

RIPR FILE

The debate over moving the Pawtucket Red Sox from McCoy Stadium to a new ball park in Providence is raging. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says it’s time for serious study, not hyperbole.

Tis the season of renewal: Easter, Passover and daffodils. Along with the longer days comes the return of baseball to New England. It may be hard to believe after our  harsh winter, but in two weeks the season opens at Fenway Park in Boston and at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket.

John Bender / RIPR

Roger Williams University is expanding its presence in Providence.  The school is moving into the former home of 38 Studios.

One Empire Plaza is best known as the headquarters for the now defunct videogame company 38 Studios. The building will house the Roger Williams; center for continuing studies, graduate programs, and the Latino Policy Insititute. President Donald Farish said the new location will better serve adult and non-traditional students.  “If we were doing things out of Bristol, we’d simply become inaccessible to huge portions of the state.”

A Superior Court judge has ruled that the Secretary of State’s office improperly used the courts to investigate a lobbyist for 38 Studios.

Scott Judge Daniel Procaccini ruled that Secretary of State Ralph Mollis and his lawyer misused the courts when looking into whether Michael Corso was registered with the state while lobbying for the failed video game company.

How did Mollis misuse the courts in the judge’s view? Here to join us with more is Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay

via WNPR

Governor-elect Gina Raimondo has picked Connecticut Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor, a fellow Yale alum with experience leading economic-development efforts in New York and New Jersey, as her choice to be Rhode Island's first Commerce secretary.

"Stefan Pryor has the depth of experience and the drive to help me lead Rhode Island's comeback," Raimondo said in a statement. "Stefan's economic development successes in Newark and in Lower Manhattan are a testament to his ability to lead the Department of Commerce in Rhode Island."

Catherine Welch / RIPR

Gov. Lincoln Chafee said one of his biggest regrets is not getting his first budget passed. That budget proposed lowering the sales tax but expanding it to other items and services.

RIPR FILE

Rhode Island’s Democratic General Assembly leaders want to exempt pensions and social security from state income taxes. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders if this makes sense in our cash-strapped state government.

House Speaker Nick Mattiello, D-Cranston and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed, D-Newport, have both said that one of their top priorities when the Assembly convenes in January is legislation that would end income taxes on pensions and social security.

When Rhode Islanders head to polls next week, they will face an important issue that has not drawn much attention. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay looks at the Constitutional Convention question.

Our small state is holding a big election on Nov. 4. Statewide and federal offices are all being contested. Every General Assembly member confronts voters, who will also elect mayors in the Rhode Island’s two largest cities, Providence and Warwick.

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