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 March 24, 2005
House speaker personally authorized $300,000 payment to TV firm
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PROVIDENCE, R.I. A House Republican leader is outraged that Democratic leaders secretly paid a television company 300-thousand dollars to help cover the filming costs of a new series.

The money was originally part of a deal worked out by the state Economic Development Corporation to lure the production company to Rhode Island. When the deal wasn't finished in time for the money to be added to the agency's budget, House Speaker William Murphy tapped a committee budget.

House Minority Leader Robert Watson tells The Providence Journal that he finds the move completely improper. He says any money doled out through a committee should be discussed in a meeting.

Murphy and Senate President Joe Montalbano say the money was necessary to secure long-term production here of the Showtime series "Brotherhood."
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