EDC overhaul bill passes the Senate - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

EDC overhaul bill passes the Senate

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Dee DeQuattro

ddequattro@abc6.com

The Rhode Island Senate passed a bill overhauling the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation.

The corporation came under scrutiny after the 38 Studios deal failed leaving the state on the hook for $75 million. Now a bill that passed the House last week and the Senate on Tuesday night aims to replace the corporation with a more "consumer-centric agency" called the Commerce Corporation.

The new Commerce Corporation will focus on "improving our state's business climate and that meets our state's goal of increased planning and performance in job creation, innovation, entrepreneurship and global business," said Senator Sheehan.

The bill is a component of the Senate's "Moving the Needle" initiative to address the state's struggling economy.

The legislation aims to increase transparency and accountability in the organization and requires the corporation to have a clear mission statement with goals.

The Chair of the Governor's Workforce Board is added to the Commerce Corporation to ensure the group says in line with the state's main economic goals.

When it comes to loan guarantee programs the Commerce Corporation will have strict financing guidelines including risk assessments.

Under the bill, the corporation will be subject to audit every three years and requires to submit a yearly report to the Senate and House Finance Committees.

(C) WLNE-TV 2013

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