Legislation proposed earlier this year that would prevent Rhode Island from repaying the 38 Studios bonds is finally being taken up by a House committee. House Oversight Chairwoman Karen MacBeth last week blasted Speaker Nicholas Mattiello in a vote for not letting the bill have a proper hearing.
She said that the rules of the House were broken by not allowing this to happen. The Speaker has been quite vocal on the importance of paying back the debt related to the bonds, saying that it would hurt the state's long-term ability to secure financing for big projects. MacBeth said that her bill needed to be brought to a vote on the House floor and complained that it had not yet had a hearing and wanted him to order it to the floor immediately.
A Finance Committee hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday. The vote on the bill comes days before lawmakers will vote on repayment as part of the budget bill.
The budget plan approved last week by the finance panel includes $12.3 million for the next bond payment in connection with the bankruptcy of 38 Studios.