As always, the cruelty is the point:
A state lawmaker who is paralyzed isn’t allowed to participate in committee meetings by phone under a legislative rule that he says keeps him from performing his job as well as he should.
Democratic Rep. Jimmy Anderson of Fitchburg said the Assembly rule discriminates against him because he has difficulty getting to some meetings for health reasons. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and other Republicans who control the Legislature have declined to accommodate his request to call into meetings.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever had to ask for simple dignities, right?” he said. “It’s a frustrating thing to have to ask just to be included in the process.”
Vos, of Rochester, noted lawmakers have accommodated his needs in other ways, such as by providing him with a computer that has voice recognition software. But Vos said he was unwilling to change the rule that requires representatives to show up at committee meetings in person.
“It just comes down to the fact that 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,” Vos said.
Anderson became paralyzed after a drunk driver plowed into the car he was riding in, killing his parents and brother.