PawSox Deal Looks Dead for 2017, Mattiello Raises Concerns
Tuesday, November 07, 2017
Mattiello said on GoLocal LIVE’s Business Monday that he had a number of concerns about the proposed deal and that the now pending PawSox deal needs reworking.
He flagged that the “devil is in the details” and that the legislation negotiated by RI Commerce provides Rhode Islanders and legislatures with few insights into the deal.
Mattiello’s concerns about the lack of disclosure by the PawSox owners have been mirrored by Senate Finance Chairman William Conley, Jr.
“Normally, the Commerce Corporation conducts a financial review and assessment of a company’s financial viability prior to moving forward with an agreement. Because this protocol was not followed, our committee has been working with the team since August to gather and vet this information, while recognizing the proprietary nature of the disclosure,” said Conley.
“Several weeks ago we offered an arrangement by which the team would disclose necessary financial information to the Office of the Auditor General, which would assess the financial stability of the team as a partner to the proposed ballpark, subject to a non-disclosure agreement. Discussions are ongoing, however, the committee will not move forward without this necessary information.”
Prominent State Senator James Sheehan on Monday published a Guest MINDSETTER™ on GoLocal articulating his opposition to the PawSox deal, “Lastly, monies raised through bonds and used for the benefit of well-to-do business people translates into money that could be used for a higher purpose, such as for economic incentives that would yield better-paying jobs. We hear a lot about the jobs that will be generated by the building of a new baseball stadium. However, many of the better-paying jobs would be in construction and, as such, be short-lived. The jobs generated at the ballpark are seasonal and most often low-paying.”
Mattiello also discussed the ongoing failure of UHIP and the appointment of Providence attorney Deming Sherman to serve as the federal court's special master. He said he was hopeful that Sherman will do what it takes to correct the ongoing failure.
Mattiello gave credit to the House Oversight Committee and Chair Pat Serpa for the work to identify many of the problems and to keep pressure on the Raimondo administration.
He said that the 2019 budget would be balanced, fair and hopefully bring more tax relief to voters. This past session, Mattiello pushed through the phaseout of the regressive auto tax. The elimination of that auto tax had been a priority for decades.
Mattiello also hoped that legislators and other elected officials would focus this session on solving problems first and running for office second. “I hope people will govern.”
Related Slideshow: GoLocal: Benchmark Poll, October 2017
Next year, in November of 2018, there will be a statewide general election for Governor and many other state offices. How likely is it that you will vote in this election?
Will you definitely be voting, will you probably be voting, are you 50-50...
Definitely be voting: 78%
Probably be voting: 13%
What would you say is the number one problem facing Rhode Island that you would like the Governor to address?
Jobs and economy: 21%
State budget: 9%
Corruption/Public integrity: .8%
Don’t know: .9%
Recently, a proposal has been made to permit the issuance of $81 million in bonds by the State to build a new stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox. If there was an election today on this issue, would you vote to approve or reject issuing $81 million in financing supported moral obligation bonds to build the stadium?
Net: Approve: 28%
Definitely approve: 15%
Probably approve: 14%
Net: Reject: 67%
Probably reject: 19%
Definitely reject: 48%
Don't know: 4%
The next question is about the total income of YOUR HOUSEHOLD for the PAST 12 MONTHS. Please include your income PLUS the income of all members living in your household (including cohabiting partners and armed forces members living at home).
$50,000 or less: 27%
More $50,000 but less than $75,000: 13%
More $75,000 but less than $100,000: 13%
More $100,000 but less than $150,000: 17%
$150,000 or more: 13%
Don't know/refused: 17%
What particular ethnic group or nationality - such as English, French, Italian, Irish, Latino, Jewish, African American, and so forth - do you consider yourself a part of or feel closest to?
Black or African American: 6%
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