Bill would stop RI’s payments on 38 Studios debt

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Lawmakers who say Rhode Island shouldn’t pay back what it owes for its failed investment in 38 Studios have introduced another proposal to default on the debt.

The bill introduced Thursday by Democratic Rep. Karen MacBeth of Cumberland would prohibit the state’s Commerce Corp. from making payments related to the $75 million loan guarantee given to the now-bankrupt video game company started by former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling.

Similar efforts to default on the debt failed last year, when lawmakers grudgingly approved a $2.5 million payment. The next payment is $12.5 million.

Supporters of default say taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for the bad investment in 38 Studios. But others, including Gov. Lincoln Chafee, say a default would harm the state’s financial reputation and significantly increase borrowing costs.

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