Budget, taxes loom large in upcoming Nebraska session

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska lawmakers are set to kick off a new session Wednesday with proposals to balance a tight state budget, lower property taxes and legalize medical marijuana in the face of a potential ballot measure.

The new, 90-day session will also usher in 13 new state senators who will reshape the officially nonpartisan Legislature in ways not yet known.

Lawmakers will choose new committee leaders in a secret-ballot election that proved to be contentious two years ago, when conservative Republicans swept virtually all of the chairmanships.

They may also face more pressure to legalize medical marijuana, thanks to a group of senators and activists who are promising to put the issue on the 2020 ballot if nothing passes this year.