PROVIDENCE â€“ House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello says â€śit is in the best interest of the stateâ€ť to pay the 38 Studios bonds and that he has the â€śoverwhelming supportâ€ť 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 Moodyâ€™s Investors Service and Standard & Poorâ€™s rating services in New York on Wednesday.
Paying the nearly $90 million in outstanding 38 Studios debt, Mattiello said, â€śIt will mitigate our losses, we know what our appropriation will be and the reputation of the state will not be harmed.
â€śYou 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€ť
The speaker said only one state, Arkansas in the Depression-era 1930s, has ever defaulted on debts in the nationâ€™s history, â€śand they are still on the default list. I am not going to put Rhode Island on the default list.â€ť
Mattielloâ€™s 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.