Frias Calls on Speaker to Ban 38 Studios-Type Moral Obligation Bonds


The following was just blasted out via e-mail.


Cranston, RI – Last week, Rhode Island reached a settlement with Wells Fargo Securities and Barclays for approximately $26 million, but taxpayers are still expected to pay millions for the 38 Studios moral obligation bonds. The former Economic Development Corporation issued moral obligation bonds as a result of 2010 legislation supported by Nicholas Mattiello when he was House Majority Leader. Recently, in a commentary, Scott MacKay, of Rhode Island Public Radio, asked “Why Won’t Pols Who Gave Us 38 Studios Pledge No More Moral Obligation Bonds?”

Steven Frias, Republican candidate for Rep. District 15, commented: “I have been campaigning for two months on a platform calling for the end of moral obligations in order to prevent a repeat of 38 Studios. After speaking to over a thousand voters, I believe that many voters, regardless of party affiliation, never want to see a repeat of 38 Studios, and support banning moral obligation bonds. If I am elected, I pledge to support legislation prohibiting moral obligation bonds.”

Frias concluded: “Moral obligation bonds are simply a tool used by politicians to put the public into debt without its consent. To help us move beyond 38 Studios, the public must feel confident that such a debacle will not repeated. One way to do that is by prohibiting moral obligation bonds. Speaker Mattiello should show he learned a lesson from the costly mistake he made in 2010 when he backed the 38 Studios legislation and agree that moral obligation bonds should be prohibited in future. 38 Studios must never happen again.”

[Steve Frias is a Republican candidate for RI House District 15. He faces Shawna Lawton in a primary on September 13, 2016. The winner of that primary will run against Speaker Nicholas Mattiello in November.]