Protestors Tell RI Lawmakers: Don’t Bail Out 38 Studios

At a recent State House rally, a small group of protesters urged lawmakers and the Governor not to bail out 38 Studios.

"It’s a scam. It’s a rip-off. We shouldn’t pay it back," said one protestor – as reported by the Providence Journal.

"It’s unconstitutional to sell bonds without the approval of the voters …. Now Wall Street is telling us we have to pay these bonds? No, we don’t," said another.

Mike Stenhouse, CEO of the Republican-led R.I. Center for Freedom & Prosperity, said that Curt Schilling shouldn't expect taxpayers to pay back his debt.

"This former Red Sox player doesn’t think that we, the taxpayers, should be on the hook for the dealings of another former Red Sox player," said Stenhouse.

Stenhouse spoke at the protest on Thursday in Providence, as did Democrat Todd Giroux, a second-time candidate for governor.

Organizers had promised that top lawmakers in the state running for Governor would be speaking, but apparently those candidates "no-showed" the event. Those missing speakers were House Oversight Committee chairwoman Karen MacBeth and Gary Sasse, one-time administration director for former Gov. Donald Carcieri who now heads the Hassenfeld Institute for Public Leadership at Bryant University.

But while protestors think the state should default on the debt, House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello told the state’s business community that the state’s failed $75-million investment in Curt Schilling’s video-game company “was one of the biggest debacles in the country’s history and certainly Rhode Island’s.” He also said that lawmakers have to deal with the fallout from it.

But Mattiello said that he believes the state needs to pay the investors who bought the state-backed bonds to avoid serious financial consequences, such as a downgrade in Rhode Island’s current and future borrowings to "junk bond status."

Lawmakers are currently wrestling with the question of whether or not the $75 million loan debt from Schilling now bankrupt studio plus penalties should be paid back or not.

That debate won't be resolved any time soon.

For more details on the protest, check out this Providence Journal article.

Source: Providence Journal

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