RALEIGH – State lawmakers are back at work for their so-called short session.

Legislators said they will need about six weeks to complete their work, which includes making budget adjustments in the two year spending plan and a long list of other high profile proposals.

“First day of school, first day of session, getting used to being here and getting back to work,” said Sen. Malcolm Graham, D-Mecklenburg.

State lawmakers gaveled into session at noon Wednesday, with a big to-do list in front of them, including making adjustments to the current two year state spending plan.

Republicans said education and Medicaid are the two areas that need a little work. Democrats said they are hoping for some big changes to come forward.

“We arrive with our schools hurting, and our jobs hurting, and we really hope some progress will be made,” said House Minority Leader Joe Hackney.

But the budget is just the beginning.

“We are glad to get back and hit the ground running,” said Sen. Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson

And boy did they run. The Senate wasted no time getting down to work on the other big issues of the session – annexation, casino gaming, and gas tax all on the agenda for day one. The casino gaming bill was approved by the full Senate. It is now on its way to the House for consideration.

This is part two of a two-year session and Republicans look poised to make sure they complete work on their to-do list before heading home in their target of just six short weeks.

Democrats balked last year at the speed bills were pushed through. Republican leaders said they believe Democrats will be better prepared for their style of leadership this year.

“You know when you are in the minority, you are always dreaming about in the majority,” said House Speaker Thom Tillis. “My guess is those in the majority never dreamed about being in the minority, so they were just not mentally prepared.”