The Rhode Island Republican Party said the state should default on the roughly 100 million dollars it owes due to the failure of video game maker 38 Studios. The GOP notes how the state isn’t legally required to pay back so-called moral obligation bonds.
State Republican Chairman Mark Smiley said the people who purchased the bonds bought an insurance policy as part of their investment. Smiley said the potential return on investment was higher because of the risky nature of the bonds. He also said taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for a decision they didn’t make.
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.
A business-backed advocacy group says Rhode Island needs to make fundamental changes to strengthen its economy. The Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council is urging support for legislation this week to reshape the state’s approach.
The Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council, RIPEC, said lower than expected state revenue is a sign of continued weakness in Rhode Island’s economy. In contrast to Massachusetts, the Ocean State has yet to regain the peak number of jobs that existed before the recession.
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.