The Republican leader in the Rhode Island House of Representatives is urging lawmakers to reject calls to pay back bonds for failed video game company 38 Studios. Other state officials say a failure to pay back the bonds will hurt the state.
House Minority Leader Brian Newberry says the 6 Republicans in the House will unanimously oppose any effort to repay the 38 Studios bonds. He said legislative Democrats are rushing to judgment on the issue without having done their homework.
Although investors in 38 Studios were promised prior to the closing of a $75 million state loan guaranty in 2010 that IBM would offer independent third-party monitoring of the company and its performance, IBM didn't sign a contract to provide that monitoring and independent oversight was never put in place, according to testimony presented last week to a legislative committee.
The owner of the vacant Industrial Trust Building -- aka the Superman Building -- submitted a bid in response to a state RFP for 70,000 to 80,000 square feet of office space.
Bill Fischer, a spokesman for High Rock Development, says the bid was submitted in time for a June 3 deadline. "We wanted to keep any and all options open," Fischer says. "We did respond," even though High Rock continues to believe that a residential conversion offers the best future for the historic structure.
The House Finance Committee Tuesday passed an $8.2 billion budget for the fiscal year starting July 1. The spending plan doesn’t include any new broad-based taxes and wipes out some of Governor Lincoln Chafee’s initiatives.
With little debate, the budget passed its first hurdle on a 12-to-zero vote, with two Republican lawmakers abstaining. The spending plan reduces proposed help for distressed communities and eliminates Chafee’s plan to cut the corporate tax from 9 percent to 7 percent over time. House Finance Chairman Helio Melo said lawmakers had to work with what they had.
It appears that New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, a billionaire media mogul, has switched his affinity from Gov. Lincoln Chafee to RI General Treasurer Gina Raimondo in the 2014 Ocean State campaign for governor.
Gov. Lincoln Chafee is shrugging off news that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is holding a fundraiser this week for state Treasurer Gina Raimondo.
Bloomberg stumped for Chafee in the 2010 governor’s race calling him one of the nation’s most effective leaders. Channel 12 reports that Bloomberg is hosting a fundraiser Thursday for treasurer Gina Raimondo, who is expected to run for governor.
Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded the state’s bonds for its failed deal with 38 Studios. Moody’s has put those and other state bonds under review for possible additional downgrades.
In explaining the move, Moody’s points to uncertainty in the General Assembly about whether to allocate money for paying back the 38 Studios’ bonds. The investors’ service downgraded the 38 Studios bonds from a low credit risk to a moderate risk.