clearn.png
Friday October 18th, 2019 8:41PM

APNewsBreak: Wisconsin GOP to let disabled lawmaker call in

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A paralyzed Wisconsin lawmaker would be allowed to call into committee meetings he can't attend in person under rule changes Republicans unveiled Tuesday that are designed to meet demands the Democrat made nearly a year ago.

Republicans provided The Associated Press with their proposed rule changes ahead of making them public Tuesday. The full Assembly will vote on them on Thursday.

"This is really breaking new ground with accommodations for someone who is permanently disabled," Republican Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke told the AP. "We're setting standards I think can be duplicated in statehouses across the country."

Democratic Rep. Jimmy Anderson uses a wheelchair and says he is reliant on a home health assistant who is not always available at the time needed. He first asked in January to be able to call into meetings he couldn't make and for assurances that the Assembly would not be in session late at night, or overnight. Republicans worked on the rule changes in private and did not consult with Anderson or Democrats, so it wasn't immediately clear whether he was satisfied that the proposal meets his concerns.

Anderson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Steineke called the accommodations "reasonable" and said he was confident they would meet all of Anderson's demands.

Anderson and Republicans publicly sparred over his requests. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos initially refused to grant Anderson's request, saying it was disrespectful to those who attended meetings in person.

The fight became so bitter, Vos accused Anderson of "political grandstanding" and in August said Anderson went public with his requests to undermine the GOP legislator's taking over as head of a national organization. Anderson responded by calling the Vos claims "sad," ''ridiculous" and "myopic."

Anderson, 33, was paralyzed from the waist down after a drunken driver in 2010 smashed into a vehicle he was in, killing his parents and brother. He was elected in 2016 and re-elected in 2018. Anderson has said that GOP leaders did not accommodate his needs when they held an overnight lame-duck legislative session in December on legislation to curb the power of incoming Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.

Anderson, an attorney, said he was investigating whether he could file a lawsuit alleging Republicans were violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Under the rule change, anyone certified by the Legislature's human resources department as having a permanent disability could participate in Assembly committee meetings and executive session votes by phone. They would have to give at least two hours' notice.

Another rule change would allow the Assembly's rules committee to set time limits on debate. That would be a way to give certainty on debate length and prevent overnight sessions, Steineke said.

Under current practice, Democrats and Republicans meet to agree upon time limits. The change is meant to address times when those talks break down, Steineke said.

Rules in other statehouses across the country vary, with most states having a similar in-person requirement as the Wisconsin Assembly. Exceptions include Alaska, the largest state by square miles, where lawmakers can phone into committee meetings for any reason. New Hampshire makes exceptions on a case-by-case basis.

No other state has similar accommodations for lawmakers with disabilities, Steineke said. The Wisconsin Senate allows for any lawmaker, for any reason, to participate in committee meetings by phone.

___

Follow Scott Bauer on Twitter: https://twitter.com/sbauerAP

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Business
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Legos lying around? Toy maker tests way to recycle bricks
Lego, looking to keep its plastic bricks out of the trash, is testing a way for customers to ship their pieces away and get them into the hands of other kids
2:40PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Turkey says it won't bow to US threat over its Syria plans
Turkey says it won't bow to US threats over Syria plans in apparent response to Trump's warning to Ankara
2:31PM ( 15 minutes ago )
The Latest: Boeheim lukewarm on playing 20 conference games
The Latest: Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim lukewarm on possibly playing 20 conference games
2:25PM ( 21 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
UK says chances of Brexit deal slim; EU chides 'blame game'
Britain and the European Union are trading ill-tempered barbs, and the U.K. says a Brexit deal might be impossible, with just over three weeks until its scheduled departure from the bloc
1:51PM ( 55 minutes ago )
Supreme Court weighs LGBT people's rights
A seemingly divided Supreme Court struggled Tuesday over whether a landmark civil rights laws protects LGBT people from discrimination in employment
1:37PM ( 1 hour ago )
Suit says feds using immigration marriage interviews as trap
Six couples say federal immigration authorities in Baltimore have "cruelly twisted" regulations by detaining immigrants seeking legal status based on their marriages
1:35PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Climate activists block roads, camp out in global protests
Activists blocked roads and protested in Australian cities and in London during a second day of global demonstrations by the Extinction Rebellion movement to demand more urgency in countering climate change
11:10AM ( 3 hours ago )
Couple face judgment for rigging daughter's entrance exams
The founder of a packaging company and his wife, a former journalist, are returning to court to be sentenced in the college admissions scandal
10:50AM ( 3 hours ago )
Company making Costco pajamas flagged for forced labor
US Customs crackdown on clothes, rubber gloves and charcoal citing labor abuse rattles American companies that buy from foreign factories where labor abuse is alleged.
6:30AM ( 8 hours ago )
Top U.S. News short headlines
Italian lawmakers back overhaul to reduce their seats
Italy's parliament approved on Tuesday to slash the number of lawmakers, a constitutional overhaul that has been strongly advocated by the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement
2:09PM ( 36 minutes ago )
The Latest: Classified briefing on Syria set for Hill staff
The Trump administration will hold a classified briefing on Syria for House and Senate staff Tuesday afternoon, according to congressional aide familiar with the meeting
1:26PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: 3 House chairmen say they'll subpoena Sondland
3 Democratic House chairmen say they'll issue a subpoena to US European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland after he didn't show up for a deposition in the Democrats' impeachment investigation
12:05PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
The Latest: Rudy Giuliani invited to testify about Ukraine
Chairman of Senate Judiciary Committee invites Giuliani to testify about corruption in Ukraine
10:46AM ( 4 hours ago )
EU competition chief: ready to act on digital tax
EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager says the bloc should agree on a tax to ensure global digital companies pay "their fair share" in Europe
9:11AM ( 5 hours ago )
White House to fight impeachment by stalling and attacking
White House undertakes high-stakes strategy to counter the impeachment threat by stalling, attacking and blowing smoke
6:06AM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Stocks skid as US raises tensions ahead of China talks
Stocks skidded in afternoon trading after the U.S. blacklisted a group of Chinese companies as it prepares for another round of trade negotiations
12:57PM ( 1 hour ago )
Parent of Toys R Us teams up with Target to power online biz
Parent of Toys R Us teams up with Target to power online business as iconic toy chain readies launch of 2 stores in November
12:37PM ( 2 hours ago )
EU's top regulator for Big Tech looks to use stronger action
The EU's powerful antitrust chief said Tuesday she's weighing up stronger measures to curb anticompetitive behavior because huge fines that she has levied on tech companies aren't working
12:23PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Business
Legos lying around? Toy maker tests way to recycle bricks
Lego, looking to keep its plastic bricks out of the trash, is testing a way for customers to ship their pieces away and get them into the hands of other kids
2:40PM ( 6 minutes ago )
Turkey says it won't bow to US threat over its Syria plans
Turkey says it won't bow to US threats over Syria plans in apparent response to Trump's warning to Ankara
2:31PM ( 15 minutes ago )
The Latest: Boeheim lukewarm on playing 20 conference games
The Latest: Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim lukewarm on possibly playing 20 conference games
2:25PM ( 21 minutes ago )
A look at who's who in northeast Syria as war fears rise
A look at who are the players in northeast Syria as fears of war rise after U.S. troop pull-back
2:22PM ( 24 minutes ago )
US pullback could boost Islamic State group revival in Syria
The Islamic State group could get a new injection of life if conflict erupts between the Kurds and Turkey in northeast Syria as the U.S. pulls its troops back from the area
2:18PM ( 28 minutes ago )