PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Here are the highlights from the 2013 session of Rhode Island's General Assembly, which adjourned Wednesday:
—Gay marriage: After years of frustration and slow progress by supporters, a bill authorizing gay marriage easily passed the House in January and the Senate in May. The first same-sex marriages in the state will occur Aug. 1.
—Budget: The state's new $8.2 billion state budget leaves taxes alone and spends $40 million more on education.
—Economy: Lawmakers passed several bills to restructure the state's economic development agency. They also passed some legislation they say will directly boost the state's lagging economy, including one to let more businesses pay workers biweekly to save administrative costs, another that will streamline coastal environmental rules and a third that allows workers to claim unemployment while participating in a job training program.
—Tolls: After voting to delay a toll on the Sakonnet River Bridge, which connects Tiverton and Portsmouth, lawmakers reversed course and voted to impose a modest 10-cent toll beginning in August. Transportation officials had said delaying tolls might permanently eliminate the possibility of tolls because of federal transportation rules, and legislative leaders said a modest toll had to be imposed to keep the option available.
—Paid family leave: Lawmakers voted to join New Jersey and California in allowing workers to take paid time off to care for a new child or sick loved one. The program would be financed through a payroll deduction paid by most workers in the state.
—Gun control: A handful of bills passed that will increase penalties for gun crimes and create a task force to review other gun laws. But more ambitious proposals to ban semi-automatic weapons and require a registration fee for firearms failed under pressure from gun owners.
—Payday loan restrictions: Another attempt to cap the interest rates charged by payday lenders failed under industry pressure.
—State appetizer: The year's most whimsical bill would have made Rhode Island-style calamari the state's official appetizer. It passed the House, where supporters said it would highlight the state's fishing and restaurant industries, but was deep-sixed in the Senate.