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Marathon session expected in state Assembly Thursday

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A long and contentious agenda awaits the Wisconsin Assembly in its final meeting of 2013. 

Majority Republicans are expected to approve bills to reinstate the photo ID law for voting -- ban early absentee voting on nights and weekends -- allow recalls of state officials only if they're suspected of criminal or ethics violations -- and let pro-lifers show off their support with a new "Choose Life" license plate. 

Those measures would go to the state Senate early next year. 

The Assembly also plans its first vote on a constitutional amendment which makes it easier to have a chief justice with the same philosophy as the majority of the Supreme Court. Final legislative action is also expected on a compromise to keep people off public recreational land close to where Gogebic Taconite is doing exploratory work for its proposed iron ore mine. 

The Assembly is also expected to act on less controversial legislation to require three credits of math and science for Wisconsin high school grads, instead of the current two. The Senate approved that measure on Tuesday.  

Observers say Thursday's session could run into early Friday. Speaker Robin Vos has said he wants to act on much of the GOP's agenda now, to avoid a logjam at the end of the two-year session next spring. 

Democrats plan to stretch out Thursday's proceedings by demanding action on their bill to set up a non-partisan panel to set up new congressional and legislative districts -- something the party in power now does every 10 years, often to their favor. 

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