- Associated Press - Saturday, June 20, 2015

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - A special legislative committee is scheduled to consider a complaint from legislators who say a Democrat used “inflammatory” language when she referred to supporters of an education bill as “racist bigots.”

Nine Republican members of the House Education Committee signed a formal complaint against Democratic Rep. Valdenia Winn, of Kansas City, accusing her of using the language during a March 19 hearing.

The measure would have repealed a law allowing some immigrants who are living in the country illegally to pay in-state tuition at Kansas colleges and universities if they meet other residency and admissions requirements, The Lawrence Journal World reported (http://bit.ly/1Gnnjpi ).

According to a transcript of an audio recording of the hearing, Winn called the measure a “racist, sexist, fear-mongering bill” and offered an apology to “the students and their parents whose lives are being hijacked by the racist bigots who support this bill.”

Rep. John Barker, R-Abilene, chairs the House Judiciary Committee and also is a member of the education panel. He objected to Winn’s remarks, saying, “She just referred to this committee as racist.”

Winn said she was not referring to individual committee members as racists but supporters of the bill, adding it was an example of what she called “institutional racism.”

The investigative panel can either dismiss the complaint or make recommendations to the House “for reprimand, censure or expulsion.”

The House Select Investigating Committee is scheduled to hear the complaint Friday, which is when the House and Senate return to mark the official end of the 2015 legislative session.

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Information from: Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World, http://www.ljworld.com

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