UPDATE: GOP leader offers to separate proposed rule changes, Democratic leader opposes

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UPDATE (WKOW) — Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke said he offered to take separate votes on proposed rule changes but was turned down by Democratic leadership.

“If it made Rep. Anderson more comfortable we would remove the veto override portion from the bill, they said they would not, so there’s really no purpose to remove that portion from the bill,” Stienke told 27 News.

Rep. Anderson added when he spoke with Steineke he told him he could take out the override portion and form it into a resolution. Instead, Anderson wanted to do that for his accommodation request but said he was told that was “not an option.”

The proposed override rule would allow the Assembly to vote repeatedly against a governor’s veto.

Minority Leader Gordon Hintz said it was never a “deal” instead he called it a power grab to “distract from accommodating Anderson.” 

“Our problem is these guys are going forward with a power grab that has nothing to do with accommodating Rep. Anderson,” said Hintz.

When asked why not agree to vote on the rules separately, Hintz said “will see what comes up tomorrow.”

“Splitting the votes doesn’t matter a whole lot, what their doing is still the same, it’s selfish and undemocratic,” said Hintz.

The Assembly plans to convene at 10 a.m. Thursday.

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MADISON (WKOW) — A paralyzed Democratic lawmaker says Republicans are forcing him to vote against his own accommodation request. 

Fitchburg Representative Jimmy Anderson (D), who uses a wheelchair, was granted a portion of his accommodation request to allow him to phone-in to committee hearings. 

Anderson said he relies on an assistant and at times they are not available upon request, sometimes preventing him to get to the Capitol.

This week Republicans announced they granted Anderson’s request but also added another rule change, giving lawmakers multiple attempts to override a governor’s veto. 

“I fundamentally disagree with this rule change…I would vote against it,” said Anderson.

When lawmakers create new rules for session, it’s voted together as a package on the Assembly floor in one vote. Anderson said Republicans are forcing him to vote against his best interest.

“We’re on the cusp of providing these accommodations and what does he (Speaker Vos) do? A political stunt that’s going to force me to vote against my own accommodations, I think that’s ridiculous,” said Anderson.

Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna) said the changes are not politically motivated and were introduced to “meet his needs.” 

“Every session when we do a rule change package it includes a lot of different things and see if we want to make any changes,” said Steinke. “I don’t see how it is a power grab, it’s literally just changing the number of times you can vote on an item.”

Anderson tells 27 New he spoke to Steineke about these concerns and asked to vote on his accommodations separately from the other rule changes. Steineke confirmed the two spoke but said it will be voted as a package Thursday when the Assembly convenes for session.

The two did agree on some minor changes to Anderson’s accommodations. The original rule would require Anderson to notify committees two hours ahead of time if he won’t be able to attend in person. Anderson said this was changed to 30 minutes. 

Even with the changes, Anderson said he will vote against the package of rules tomorrow.

Emilee Fannon

Emilee Fannon

Capital Bureau Chief

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