Kansas House panel dismisses complaint on lawmaker’s remarks

TOPEKA, Kansas — A Kansas legislative panel has unanimously dismissed a complaint against a House member who used the words “racist bigots” to describe supporters of a bill denying in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants.

Republican Rep. Mark Kahrs made the motion Friday to dismiss, saying he thought Rep. Valdenia Winn’s comments at a March 19 House Education Committee meeting were slanderous but protected by the First Amendment.

Winn called the bill “an example of institutional racism” and apologized to students and parents whose lives “are being hijacked by the racist bigots who support this bill.”

Nine members of the committee signed the complaint against her.

Kahrs called Winn’s statements an unfair, irresponsible attack on fellow committee members and suggested that she apologize.

Winn said after the hearing she doesn’t intend to do that.

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