ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)—The Maryland General Assembly is in session with a record number of news faces and a $750 million challenge.

Pat Warren has the details from the Maryland State House.

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About a third of the House and a quarter of the Senate are new to the General Assembly and, so’s the governor. Election adversaries Lt. Governor Anthony Brown and Governor-Elect Larry Hogan make a symbolic transfer of office/power this opening day–Brown waving goodbye, Hogan saying hello.

“Some of the challenges that face us are great, but so is our resolve to fix them. And the only way that we’re going to solve the serious problems facing our state, is if we do so in a bipartisan fashion,” said Governor-Elect Larry Hogan.

For the heads of local governments the challenge will be to stay off the chopping block as the process of eliminating a $750 million deficit unfolds.

“We’re really in a protective mode we want to protect our flank, we want to make sure that as the governor-elect considers budget cuts that he’s not simply passing the obligations to the counties,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.

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And already some longtime lawmakers are playing down the threat of budget cuts.

“To talk about a crisis I think is to oversell it to the people and to me that’s a mistake,” said Senator Richard Madeleno.

There’s plenty of time to see how that plays out. Today, everybody plays nice.

The budget issue is expected to dominate this session, however some other things are likely to come up, including body cameras for police officers, more decriminalization of marijuana, and an expansion of charter schools.

Governor-Elect Larry Hogan will be inaugurate a week from today.

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