U.S. Markets open in 8 hrs 40 mins

RI panel endorses EDC replacement agency

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- A proposal to replace Rhode Island's Economic Development Corp. with a new state office of commerce is heading to a House vote.

The House Finance Committee endorsed the legislation Wednesday, and the full House is scheduled to vote on it next week.

Top House lawmakers say it's time to get rid of the EDC, which came under fire after its board voted to grant a $75 million loan guarantee to former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling's failed video game company, 38 Studios. They say a new secretary of commerce could better coordinate the state's economic development efforts.

But Gov. Lincoln Chafee opposes the move and says the EDC has rebounded following the 38 Studios debacle.