PROVIDENCE â House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello says âit is in the best interest of the stateâ to pay the 38 Studios bonds and that he has the âoverwhelming supportâ of House Democrats to do so.
Mattiello made that announcement at the end of a 90 minute Democratic caucus at which he told the members of his party what he learned when he, joined by Majority Leader John DeSimone and members of their staff, visited the offices of the Moodyâs Investors Service and Standard & Poorâs rating services in New York on Wednesday.
Paying the nearly $90 million in outstanding 38 Studios debt, Mattiello said, âIt will mitigate our losses, we know what our appropriation will be and the reputation of the state will not be harmed.
âYou have to protect the creditworthiness of the state of Rhode Island, you have to thank the economic reputation of the state of Rhode Island.â
The speaker said only one state, Arkansas in the Depression-era 1930s, has ever defaulted on debts in the nationâs history, âand they are still on the default list. I am not going to put Rhode Island on the default list.â
Mattielloâs statement all but assures that Rhode Island will pay the debt. Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed is also an advocate of paying the debt, as is Gov. Lincoln Chafee.
Read the rest of the story in Friday's Call.