Lawmakers have returned to tackle a host of familiar issues

NEW FACE: Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio, center, speaks with Sen. Dennis L. Algiere, R-Charlestown, and Sen.-elect Jessica de la Cruz, a Republican who will represent North Smithfield, Burrillville and Glocester, during an orientation for new members in the Senate chambers at the Statehouse.
 / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO
NEW FACE: Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio, center, speaks with Sen. Dennis L. Algiere, R-Charlestown, and Sen.-elect Jessica de la Cruz, a Republican who will represent North Smithfield, Burrillville and Glocester, during an orientation for new members in the Senate chambers at the Statehouse.
 / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO
The General Assembly reopened Jan. 1 with a new configuration of legislators facing many of the same issues that have been circulating in the state for years, including a potential expansion of sports gambling and the continued phaseout of an automobile excise tax. The top Democratic leaders all won re-election handily. But although voters returned…

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