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Mr. O'Malley did not embrace the concept of taking a regional approach to paying for transportation infrastructure.

Lawmakers also are expected to grapple with gun-control legislation this year in response to last month’s massacre of 20 children and six adults at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school.

“We will debate protecting our children from the insanity of the sort of carnage we saw in Connecticut,” Mr. O’Malley told a room full of the state’s leading Democrats during their annual luncheon.

House Speaker Michael E. Busch, Anne Arundel Democrat, said the focus on preventing an event like the one that happened in Newtown will be on multiple fronts, including a review of the state’s gun laws. He also said lawmakers will focus on mental health facilities and school safety.