Republicans won't let Democrat in wheelchair phone in

State Rep. Jimmy Anderson
By  | 

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Republicans who control the Wisconsin Assembly will not allow a paralyzed Democratic lawmaker who is in a wheelchair to phone into committee meetings.

Rep. Jimmy Anderson, of Fitchburg, says enforcing the legislative rule keeps him from performing his job as well as he should. Anderson tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in a story published Monday that the rule discriminates against him because he has difficulty getting to some meetings because of health reasons.

But Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says he is unwilling to change the rule. Vos tells the Journal Sentinel "I think it's disrespectful for someone to be asking questions over a microphone or a speakerphone when individuals are actually taking the time out of their day to come and testify in person."

Anderson says it's "absolutely ridiculous" to say accommodating someone with a disability would somehow be disrespectful to people.