Bluegrass Institute calls for Lexington representative’s censure related to bigoted remarks at school-choice hearing
Today, the Bluegrass Institute called on the Kentucky General Assembly to censure Rep. Kelly Flood, D-Lexington, for disparaging comments she made during Tuesday’s meeting of the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee, which were directed toward supporters of scholarship tax-credit legislation which would allow poor and learning -disabled youngsters to attend private and parochial schools.
“Effectively, you are asking the state to become your next major donor to raise approximately $25 million to reimburse donors who have a crisis of faith in contributing currently for the past 20 years, specifically in this state to private institutions that are funding schools that are religious, that have been in the headlines for two decades now with chronic, systemic child abuse,” Flood hatefully spouted toward school-choice supporters.
In the following video, please notice how Flood continued her rude, angry outburst even after committee Chairman Steven Rudy, R-Paducah, ruled her out of order.
“Rep. Flood’s bigoted and hateful diatribe shows a level of intolerance that must not be allowed to go unaddressed by the leadership of her party and the General Assembly as a whole,” Bluegrass Institute President and CEO Jim Waters said.
“To claim that a program whereby individuals and businesses could voluntarily donate to nonprofit tuition organizations so the poorest and neediest among us would have better opportunities in life potentially through a parochial education would aid and abet the sex-abuse scandal involving priests in the Roman Catholic church is ugly, despicable and reaches a level of intolerance unworthy of our legislature, even at its most partisan moments,” Waters said.
“If this outburst wasn’t disorderly behavior, then such doesn’t even exist,” he added.
Flood made her comments during a hearing on House Bill 205, which would allow businesses and individuals to receive a credit against their state tax liability by contributing to nonprofit tuition organizations which would use the funds to distribute scholarships to qualified students for use in covering tuition at private or religious schools.
During the hearing, parents whose children had received scholarships through the School Choice Scholarships program, which raises funds privately to provide children in families below the poverty line with the opportunity to attend private schools, testified prior to Flood’s comments.
Many of those families choose to enroll their children in Catholic schools, which work with parents to use the scholarship to cover tuition costs.
“While we welcome a vigorous debate about how best to improve the educational opportunities of Kentucky youngsters, there’s no place for Flood’s bigotry toward Catholic Christians, who have a significant presence across our commonwealth,” Waters said.
“Her fanatical comments during a public meeting were directed toward school-choice supporters on a day when parents took time away from their jobs and responsibilities to make the trek to Frankfort to share their heartfelt stories with legislators demand clear and unequivocal condemnation from her fellow legislators. Kentuckians expect their representatives to conduct the people’s business with dignity and respect,” he added.
For more information, please contact Jim Waters at firstname.lastname@example.org or 270.320.4376.