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.
The House Oversight Committee will hold its first meeting Thursday since recently getting a new chairwoman. The new chair has been a sharp critic of paying back bondholders who invested in failed video game company 38 Studios.
After winning his post last month, House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello ousted his rival for the speakership, Michael Marcello, from the chairmanship of House Oversight. He replaced Marcello with Representative Karen MacBeth of Cumberland, who sharply criticized last year’s payment to bondholders in 38 Studios.
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.
The House Oversight Committee is set Wednesday to examine the state’s losing investment in failed video game maker 38 Studios.
The General Assembly ended the legislative session last month. But members of the House Oversight Committee are returning to Smith Hill to examine Rhode Island’s misadventure with 38 Studios.
The discussion will focus on documents obtained from the state Economic Development Corporation about the EDC’s approval of bonds for 38 Studios. The video game company was lured here with a $75 million state-backed guaranteed loan in 2010.
Legislative testimony shows that independent monitoring wasn’t put in place for 38 Studios before bonds were sold to fund the ill-fated video company. The state Economic Development Corporation told investors that IBM would perform third-party monitoring of 38 Studios.
The issue of independent monitoring was discussed during a House Oversight Committee meeting earlier this month. In a document similar to a prospectus, the EDC told investors it hired IBM in September 2010 to monitor 38 Studios’ performance.