Nebraska lawmakers have kicked off a new legislative session that promises to include a bevy of challenging issues, including a push to reduce property taxes.

The new session began at 10 a.m. Wednesday with an expected focus on the state’s budget challenges. Lawmakers will also consider proposals to legalize medical marijuana, change prison-sentencing laws to reduce overcrowding, and expand a tax break to military retirees.

The new session also includes 13 new state senators.

Lawmakers will spend the first day electing committee leaders – a procedural matter that plays a key role in determining when bills get hearings and whether they pass. Senators will introduce legislation during the session’s first 10 days.

Norfolk Sen. Jim Scheer has won re-election as speaker of the Legislature.

Scheer was uncontested Wednesday in his bid to serve another two-year term presiding over the Legislature.