Economy, gay marriage top RI legislative agenda - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Economy, gay marriage top RI legislative agenda

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By News Staff

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Gay marriage, a listless economy and another budget deficit are among the top issues facing Rhode Island lawmakers as they return to the Statehouse to begin their 2013 session.

Tuesday will mark the first day of a session expected to last through the spring.

Legislative leaders say Rhode Island's sluggish economy is the year's top priority. The General Assembly is also expected to consider changes to economic development policies, a proposal to legalize marijuana and legislation to reinstitute historic tax credits.

Lawmakers must also contend with an estimated $69 million deficit in next year's budget.

House Speaker Gordon Fox has called for an early vote on legislation to allow gay couples to marry in the state.

Lawmakers will be sworn into office and formally select legislative leaders Tuesday.

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