MADISON (WSAU-Wheeler News) Both houses of the Wisconsin Legislature will hold their final meetings of 2013 this week. The Senate plans to ease up on the most controversial legislation, while the Assembly plans to forge ahead. Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says he wants to tackle some of the hottest issues now, to avoid the usual log-jam at the end of the two-year session next spring. Starting tomorrow the Assembly plans to take up a host of issues that include a modified photo I-D law for voting, limits on early absentee voting, and allowing recalls of state elected officials only if they're accused of criminal or ethics violations. The Senate plans to wait on the voter I-D adjustments until the courts determine if the current I-D laws are unconstitutional. The Senate's G-O-P leadership has also decided not to consider two anti-abortion bills until next year, if at all. The Assembly has passed those bills, which would ban abortion based on the child's gender, exempt religious groups from including contraceptives in their employees' health insurance, and banning abortion coverage for public workers.
The Assembly is expected to vote on a compromise bill passed by the Senate to limit public access to some, but not all, of the land where Gogebic Taconite is working on its proposed iron ore mine. The lower house will also consider bi-partisan bills to reform the state's mental health system -- including grants to law enforcement teams to respond to people with mental illnesses. The Assembly will also consider a bill banning so-called "revenge porn" -- jilted lovers placing nude-or-compromising photos of their exes online. The Senate will consider banning employers from prying into employees' social media accounts by asking for their passwords. Both houses could also act on a proposed constitutional amendment to change the way the Supreme Court names its chief justice.