The 2013 Maryland General Assembly that came to a close April 8 was, according to two veteran area delegates, the toughest session ever.
During the 90-day session, Gov. Martin O'Malley got just about everything on his wish list, including tougher gun laws, a death penalty repeal, an increased tax on gasoline, the legalization of medical marijuana and the subsidization of offshore wind.
But the votes on some of those issues were difficult. Below, area legislators reflect on the successes and disappointments from their time in Annapolis.
Sen. Edward Kasemeyer
Highlight: Maryland no longer has a deficit.
"The thing that goes unnoticed by the average person, but frankly without it government really struggles in providing services, is the whole issue of deficits and budgets," Kasemeyer said.
"We got out of being in a deficit, which means every year you're not faced with 'What don't we increase? What don't we cut?' " Kasemeyer said.
Low light: Having to vote for the new gas tax.
He said the tax is critical for increasing revenue necessary for major transportation improvement projects, but that he wasn't 100 percent satisfied with the terms of the bill.
"It was an inevitable thing and the question was how to get it done," Kasemeyer said.
Easiest vote: "The death penalty issue," Kasemeyer said.
"You're raised a certain way, you have fundamental beliefs," he said. "I've always supported capital punishment so I didn't struggle with that decision to stay there."
Hardest vote:: "To have to vote on the gas tax in the way it was constructed," Kasemeyer said. "It was like medicine you don't want to take, but you know you have to do it."
Sen. Delores Kelley
Highlight: That gun control law and death penalty repeal both passed.
"I think we were really balanced in what we did," Kelley said.
"I was also happy to be able to keep us from just saying the whole problem was about mental illness," she said. "Although it was mentally ill people who killed a lot of people at once ... most of the gun murders have nothing to do with mental illness, it's people who are mean or revengeful in some way."
Low light: The bill to delay storm water runoff fees did not pass in the House of Delegates.
"That bill would have delayed for two years a local tax assessment for storm water management to clean up the Bay," Kelley said.
"That was really sad because we passed so many taxes between last session and this session," she said. "We're just really hitting people too hard too fast."