38 Studios

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello is applauding plans by state police to speak with lawmakers about a 2010 vote that set the stage for 38 Studios to come to Rhode Island. A Job Creation Guaranty Program approved by the legislature was later used to channel $75 million to the ill-fated video game company.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

State Representative Joseph Shekarchi (D-Warwick) joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss the House budget; 38 Studios; the latest findings about public school performance in Rhode Island; and a new entry in the race for lieutenant governor.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

A House vote in favor of a new $8.7 billion budget early Friday was dominated by debate about 38 Studios. The spending plan for the fiscal year starting July 1 includes $12.3 million dollars to continue paying back investors in the failed video game company.

Budget articles passed with lopsided margins and mostly no back and forth. Yet an attempt to establish an independent prosecutor to examine how the state bungled into 38 Studios sparked sharp exchanges. Representative Michael Marcello (D-Scituate) argued in favor of the outside probe.

RIPR FILE

A bill slated to be considered Tuesday by the House Finance Committee would create a commission to investigate loan programs like the one that funded 38 Studios. House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello has opposed the idea of lawmakers using subpoenas to probe 38 Studios.

The bill sponsored by state Representative Michael Chippendale (R-Foster) would create a nine-member panel to investigate unsuccessful state loan programs. Chippendale said it’s important to press for answers even if the state budget being voted on later this week includes money to pay back 38 Studios’ investors.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

On a 14-2 margin, the House Finance Committee Thursday approved an $8.7 billion budget for the fiscal year starting July first.  Lawmakers say they hope tax cuts will bolster Rhode Island’s underperforming economy.

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