Wednesday, October 16th

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Democratic Rep. Jimmy Anderson of Fitchburg, center, and other Democratic Assembly members speak to reporters after Assembly Speaker Robin Vos released a new rule change allowing Anderson to call into meetings.(Photo: Molly Beck, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

MADISON - Assembly Speaker Robin Vos relented Tuesday and agreed to let a paralyzed Democratic lawmaker who uses a wheelchair to phone into committee meetings after an advocacy group for people with disabilities threatened a lawsuit. 

Vos and Republican Assembly leaders said Tuesday they were changing the house's rules to "make legislative work, such as committee meetings and session days, as accessible and predictable as possible." 

But the new rule also came after the GOP leaders received a letter from an attorney from Disability Rights Wisconsin representing Democratic Rep. Jimmy Anderson, who is paralyzed from the chest down, asking the leaders to reconsider their denial of his accommodation requests.

"They are definitely trying to avoid a lawsuit and I think that's something that I want to do as well," Anderson told reporters Tuesday.