Lawmakers, lobbyists and hundreds of staffers will return to Annapolis on Wednesday for the start of the 2014 General Assembly session.
They'll arrive after a busy 2013 that saw lawmakers hiking Maryland's gas tax, repealing the death penalty and giving the state some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation.
This year will be different. Lawmakers will have to multitask, reshaping the state's laws while getting ready for the 2014 primary election on June 24.
But that doesn't mean this session will lack drama. Here's a rundown of five storylines expected to make headlines during the legislature's 90-day session:
An effort to increase the state's $7.25 per hour minimum wage is expected to be fiercely debated in the General Assembly this year.
Stacey Mink of Raise Maryland said advocates of a higher minimum wage are promoting legislation to boost it to $10.10 per hour by 2016.
That legislation, which has yet to be filed, would also raise the wage for tipped workers like waiters and car wash attendants from 50 percent to 70 percent of the prevailing wage. In addition, it would index the minimum wage to inflation, so that it doesn't lose value over time.
Sources close to this effort and to Gov. Martin O'Malley's administration say discussion is underway to make this proposal an administration bill - greatly increasing its chances of passage.
Last year legislation to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10 an hour, and then tie it to inflation, failed, 8-3, in the Senate Finance Committee. But that bill did not have the administration's full backing.
Del. Keith Haynes, D-Baltimore, has pre-filed House Bill 72, which would hike the minimum hourly wage to $12.50.
At least five proposals to change a state mandate on stormwater fees are expected to be debated.
In 2012 the General Assembly passed legislation requiring the 10 largest jurisdictions, including Anne Arundel County, to assess fees to pay for improvements that keep polluted runoff from roofs, driveways and sidewalks from reaching the state's waterways.
On the last day of the 2013 session, legislation to delay the mandate two years made it through the Senate but died in the House.
That measure is expected to reappear in this session, along with other proposals.
One - House Bill 50, pre-filed by Del. Wayne Norman, R-Harford - would repeal the mandate entirely.
Other expected measures would reduce the burden on residents by providing tax credits for environmentally friendly home improvements, exempting nonprofits and churches statewide, and specifying how high counties can set the fees.
House Bill 55, filed by Del. Steve Schuh, R-Gibson Island, would exempt Anne Arundel County from the mandate.
Taxes and the budget
Republicans are planning a push for tax cuts, but this will come while lawmakers also attempt to deal with a budget shortfall of more than $400 million.
House Minority Leader Nic Kipke, R-Pasadena, has said House GOP members will support a 10 percent income tax cut for all state taxpayers.
Kipke knows that proposal will have a tough time. But in the final months before the election, the GOP hopes to repair some of the damage its members feel has been done by a variety of tax increases enacted under O'Malley.
Health care reform
The rollout of the state's health care exchange website will undoubtedly be a topic of discussion during the session.
So far computer glitches have kept many Maryland residents from signing up for health care plans, as they are required to do under President Barack Obama's Affordable Health Care Act.
Lawmakers are raising questions about how the exchange was launched when open enrollment began on Oct. 1 and who was involved with setting up the Maryland Health Connection.
On Friday, O'Malley's administration announced plans for an emergency bill that would put people who thought they had enrolled in a health care plan through the exchange - but still didn't get coverage - into a separate safety net plan.
Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown said the measure will be submitted at the start of the session. Brown said the measure could apply to anywhere from a few hundred Marylanders to 5,000.
There's speculation a joint committee of delegates and senators will investigate the health care exchange's tumultuous start.
House Republicans have requested a "full forensic audit" of the rollout and Sen. David Brinkley, R-Carroll, has made a similar request in the Senate.
Under state law, they are not allowed to raise money for their campaigns during the session. The primary election will take place a little more than two months after the General Assembly adjourns in early April. The general election will be on Nov. 4.