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Posted: Tuesday, January 14th, 2014 5:04 PM HST

5 things to know as Hawaii Legislature begins

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) Hawaii lawmakers have several issues on their agenda as they get set to report for the 2014 legislative session Wednesday.

Neil Abercrombie's office says the Democratic governor's top priorities will be increasing state budget reserves and putting money into underfunded employee pensions and retiree health care, rather than spending a record $844 million surplus on new programs.

Other key items for lawmakers are bills that would legalize marijuana for recreational use, increase the state's minimum wage and direct officials to plan for a significant sea level rise.

Also, health care and education funding debates are expected to divide legislators.

These debates will take shape as lawmakers, and Abercrombie, face election challenges in November.

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