Group proposes elimination of state EDC
The General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Economic Development recently heard from a group of business and development leaders in the state pushing for more interaction between the state and its universities and the private sector.
Led by co-chairpersons Sen. James C. Sheehan and Rep. Donna M. Walsh, the joint committee is exploring proposals to strengthen Rhode Island’s economy in the midst of both a slow recovery from recession and the failure of a state-backed investment in Curt Shilling’s now-bankrupt video game development company, 38 Studios.
“We are very much interested in hearing from anyone who has looked at the issues and has some suggestions to make,” said Walsh. “Economic development is no simple formula, and we need to hear everyone’s ideas in order to make informed decisions about what our state government should be doing to rebuild our economy and encourage prosperity.”
An independent plan put forward to the state would eliminate the Economic Development Corporation, which is the quasi-public agency charged with leading the state’s economic development efforts. It would instead vest those responsibilities in three new bodies: a strategic office that answers to the governor, a research body based in the state’s universities, and a new board of directors that would collaborate with the private sector and administer programs.