Economic Development Corporation

RIPR FILE

A legislative committee Wednesday held the fourth in an ongoing series of oversight hearings on Rhode Island’s investment in failed video game company 38 Studios. Committee members had different views on the value of the meeting.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

State Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed joins the Political Roundtable this week to discuss legislative attempts to improve Rhode Island's economy; the search for a new state commissioner of higher education; and why the Senate voted in April to legalize same-sex marriage.

The General Assembly is slated to consider bills later Tuesday to revamp Rhode Island’s approach to economic development.  The action comes on the last day of the legislative session.

The state Economic Development Corporation has been marked for years by turnover in its top leadership. Governor Lincoln Chafee wants to give the EDC a chance to show its stuff with a new board and a new director, Marcel Valois. But the General Assembly could make some significant changes to the agency.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

By overwhelming margins, the Rhode Island House of Representatives Tuesday passed a half-dozen bills to change the state’s approach to economic development.

One bill would try to create a more streamlined effort through a new Executive Office of Commerce. Another bill replaces the state Economic Development Corporation with a Commerce Corporation headed by a secretary of commerce. 

It is not yet clear precisely how the state will move forward.

The Rhode Island House of Representatives is expected, this Tuesday, to approve a package of bills reshaping the state’s approach to economic development.  House Speaker Gordon Fox and Governor Lincoln Chafee differ on how to move forward.

One of the House bills would replace the state Economic Development Corporation with a Rhode Island Commerce Corporation. It would establish a secretary of commerce, with the idea of making one person responsible for pursuing economic development.

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