38 Studios

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed sat down prior to the start of the new General Assembly session to discuss top issues facing the state, including the economy; the growing cost of paying back investors in 38 Studios, Sakonnet River Bridge tolls, voter ID, and more.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

With the General Assembly set to start its new session Tuesday, House Speaker Gordon Fox sat down to discuss the issues facing the legislature, including the latest budget deficit; fallout from 38 Studios; the possible impact of a settlement over the 2011 overhaul of the state pension system; tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge; and more.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

House Minority Leader Brian Newberry (R-North Smithfield) joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss the possible fate in the General Assembly of the 2011 pension overhaul; continued fallout from the failure of 38 Studios; and the intensifying race for governor.

RIPR FILE

Rhode Island’s General Assembly convenes a new session Tuesday. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay explains why this year’s legislature may sound a lot like last year’s.

By now, most of us have cleared our heads of those New Year’s  hangovers. That’s not the case for Rhode Island’s 113 lawmakers.

The 2014 Assembly that convenes tomorrow will resemble nothing so much as the …2013 Assembly. The reason for this is all too evident:  As has too often been the case, the Smith Hill Crowd decided not to decide some big, prickly issues last session.

House Speaker Gordon Fox and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed each say they intend to seek another term at the top of their respective chambers in 2015, provided they win re-election to their legislative seats next November.

In related news, Fox and Paiva Weed sounded different notes on the issue of repaying investors in failed video-game maker 38 Studios. The tab for taxpayers is set to increase in 2014 to $12.5 million dollars, up from $2.5 million in 2013 -- a factor that may resound in legislative elections in the new year.

Your faithful correspondent is breaking from TGIF's usual format this week to gaze ahead into 2014. Thanks for stopping by and feel free to follow me on the twitters. Here we go.

The auctioning of intellectual property from defunct video game maker 38 studios resulted in the sale of two of the five lots up for bid. The assets were part of the video game company owned by baseball legend Curt Schilling.

The two lots going to the highest bidder included the games “Rise of Nations” and “Rise of Legends” and all of their intellectual property. The other lot sold held the trademark for Big Huge Games, a Maryland-based video game company owned by 38 Studios.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Democratic Secretary of State candidate Nellie Gorbea joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss her campaign; Rhode Island's Voter ID law, the move to create separate councils overseeing K-though-12 and higher education; and the lack of bidders for a study on the impact of not paying back investors in 38 Studios.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Intellectual property rights for 38 Studios, the failed video game that left Rhode Island taxpayers on the hook for $90 million, were slated to hit the auction block Wednesday. Nick Jimenez, executive vice president with Heritage Global Auctions, says via email there will be "more to report after the sales process is completed in the coming days." In the interim, an update on related developments:

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, a Republican candidate for governor, is putting himself squarely behind state Senator Dawson Hodgson's latest call for an independent commission to investigate the state's losing investment in failed video-fame maker 38 Studios.

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for a weekly business segment we're calling "The Bottom Line." Each Friday they look at business news and themes that affect local business and the public.

This week Dave and Mark talk with Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Marcel Valois. They discuss the EDC’s small business loan program and why slow and steady wins the race.

When to Listen

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

File photo / RIPR

Our panel this week discusses RI's persistently high unemployment; Senator Dawson Hodgson's renewed call for an outside investigation into 38 Studios; Angel Taveras' proposal for instituting universal pre-K in Rhode Island; and Scott MacKay and Maureen Moakley's top turkeys of 2013.

Welcome back to my Friday column, and thanks for stopping by. As always, feel free to drop me a line at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and to follow me on the twitters. Let's get going:

Welcome back to my Friday column on this lovely Friday in mid-November. As always, your feedback and thoughts are welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and you're invited to follow me on the twitters. Let's get to it.

State Senator Dawson Hodgson (R-North Kingstown) is pre-filing legislation Friday to renew his push to establish an independent commission to investigate Rhode Island's losing investment in 38 Studios. Hodgson says he'll work to create a bipartisan coalition to bring the bill to a vote early in the 2014 General Assembly session.

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