Alabama House Speaker Seth Hammett gaveled the House into session at noon Tuesday, at the same time Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley called the Senate to order.
The Legislature will be in session for the next three and a half months to write budgets for education and state government.
Lawmakers are expected to spend much of the session discussing what to do with a surplus in the education budget, estimated to be as high as $1 billion.
Other issues on the agenda for lawmakers include proposals for dealing with prison overcrowding and Gov. Bob Riley's plan to give Alabama residents a $200 million per year income tax cut.