© 2021 KMUW
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Committee Begins Investigating Complaint Against Kansas Lawmaker

Stephen Koranda

An investigative committee had a brief meeting on Wednesday to begin looking into a complaint filed by Kansas House Republicans against a Democratic colleague. The complaint accuses Representative Valdenia Winn of using inflammatory language during a committee hearing. Stephen Koranda was at the meeting and has this report.

The complaint says Winn, from Kansas City, Kansas, stepped over the line when she said “racist bigots” were supporting a bill that would remove a college tuition break for some students in the country illegally.

The top Democrat in the Kansas House, Tom Burroughs, says this is a free speech issue.

“Where in American should you be limited on free speech, let alone the state Capitol?” says Burroughs.

Republican Representative Willie Dove is one of the lawmakers who signed the complaint. He says Winn does have free speech rights, but…

“Everything comes with a price of conscience. If you’re going to use those kinds of words against your colleagues, you’re doing nothing but causing problems with the entire process,” says Dove.

Winn herself declined to comment.

The investigative committee will begin taking testimony at a meeting later this month