ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland lawmakers have started their annual legislative session by electing new leadership. Former teacher Bill Ferguson was unanimously elected as the state's first new Senate president in more than three decades.
The Baltimore Democrat emphasized the importance of a sweeping K-12 education measure that will be a top subject of debate this year.
Across the hall, House Speaker Adrienne Jones was reelected to lead the 141-member chamber.
Jones is the first woman and first black official to hold the office. She also is highlighting the importance of education this year. This will be her first 90-day legislative session as speaker.
Education Top Agenda
Education is expected to be a top issue for Maryland lawmakers in their annual 90-day legislative session.
Among others will be a measure to require background checks when someone buys a rifle or shotgun.
The proposal stalled last year. Lawmakers also are expected to debate legislation to ban flavored vaping products.
And they'll consider a plan to rebuild Pimlico Race Course and keep the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore. Leading lawmakers say a measure to legalize sports betting in Maryland will also get another look this year.