MADISON –Representative Melissa Sargent (D-Madison) issued the following statement to in response to Republican’s partisan power grab in “exchange” for reasonable accommodations for Representative Jimmy Anderson:

“I am absolutely disgusted with the partisan antics taken by Republican lawmakers this week. Rather than coming together to support one of our most dedicated lawmakers, Republicans blatantly attack our democratic system in “exchange” for accommodations individuals living with disabilities. Republicans had every opportunity to act in the best interest of our democracy and approve reasonable accommodations for Representative Anderson this entire summer, however, they saw this opportunity to attack the fundamental nature of democracy while pretending to address Representative Anderson’s concerns.

The actions taken by Speaker Robin Vos and Republican lawmakers are an absolutely maniacal violation of Representative Anderson’s civil rights. The Americans with Disabilities Act specifically states that Wisconsin must provide reasonable accommodations to a person with disabilities serving office, as long as it does not create an undue or costly burden. Representative Anderson’s request to use a telephonic system for meetings was far from costly, considering this system already exists and is consistently used. Instead of immediately granting this accommodation, Republican lawmakers used this as an opportunity to attack Wisconsin’s democratic system by trading accommodations for indefensible power grabs, for example granting unlimited attempts by Assembly Republicans to override vetoes made by Governor Evers.

Not only are the actions taken by Speaker Vos legally questionable, they are truly an embarrassment for our state and a new low or Wisconsin democracy. We cannot allow a small minority of legislators to restrict the constitutional rights of some of our states brightest individuals. I am proud to sit with Representative Anderson and individuals living with disabilities in the state of Wisconsin, and will continue to fight for common sense policies that ensure civil rights in our community.”

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