Disabled Wisconsin lawmaker asks to participate remotely

Disabled Voters Jimmy Anderson
Wisconsin state Rep. Jimmy Anderson, D-Fitchburg, is paralyzed from the chest down and uses a wheelchair. He wants to improve transportation, health care and access to home attendants to empower voters with disabilities. But he doesn't feel optimistic about his ability to pass bills improving voting accessibility in the Republican-run Legislature. “It doesn't mean that we shouldn't fight for these issues, and to try to move the needle on it,” he adds. Anderson is seen shown in a photo from 2016.
Courtesy of Rep. Jimmy Anderson

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A disabled Democratic lawmaker in Wisconsin is asking Assembly Republicans to allow him to participate in floor sessions remotely, much like the accommodations sometimes used during the coronavirus pandemic.

Rep. Jimmy Anderson, who is quadriplegic, threatened to take legal action if his request isn’t granted.

Anderson says in a letter to Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Democratic Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz that his disability prevents him from being physically present for every vote.

Vos didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

The letter comes more than a year after Assembly Republicans, at Anderson’s urging, changed rules to allow those with disabilities to phone into committee meetings, but stopped short of fulfilling other requests.