RI House leaders unveil bills to boost economic development

Rhode Island's House Speaker is calling for the elimination of the state's struggling Economic Development Corp. and the creation of a new state agency headed by a secretary of commerce.

Speaker Gordon Fox announced the proposal on Thursday during the unveiling of a legislative package designed to boost the state's economy.

The Democrat from Providence says a new approach to economic development is needed in the state. The EDC has faced widespread criticism following its failed $75 million loan guarantee given to former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling's now bankrupt video game company 38 Studios.

Fox and top House leaders also announced bills that would reinstate historic redevelopment tax credits, help unemployed residents get job training and create a new small business loan program.