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Tuesday’s Trending Topics: Scott Walker takes office; Legislature back in session

As seen from high above in the rotunda, Gov. Scott Walker, lower left, makes his Inaugural address Monday after being sworn in as the 45th Governor of the State of Wisconsin.

Welcome to Trending Topics, a (mostly) daily feature that will glance at the top news items and opinions of the day.

It seems like only a couple weeks ago Wisconsin lawmakers were bickering in dramatic fashion over whether to approve new contracts for state employees.

Oh, right. It was.

Well, anyway, a new class of legislators has been sworn in, and Gov. Scott Walker used his first day on the job – as promised – to call for a special session that starts at 10 a.m. today. Walker, during his inaugural address, called on the Legislature to “pass our jobs plan by the end of February.”

At least one Democrat, Rep. Gordon Hintz, D-Oshkosh, also had jobs on his mind, as he announced plans to re-introduce a bill that passed in the Assembly last session.

Walker’s jobs plan was not the only thing on lawmakers’ minds, though. Among the bills circulating through the Capitol – and gaining momentum from Republicans – was one that would require voters to show photo identification, a campaign promise of Rep. Jeff Stone, R-Greendale, and an idea favored by many other legislators.

Such ideas sparked debate – even before the special session began – that Republicans already were backing away from jobs as their No. 1 priority. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, told The Wisconsin State Journal he wasn’t surprised lawmakers would be excited to introduce their own ideas, but he expects the first bills introduced “will be Gov. Walker’s special session bills.”

It’s good to have the Legislature back. But no one could be blamed for thinking it never went on break.

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