State Rep. Douglas Bruce, who has a history of provoking controversy, made the comment during debate on a bill that would allow the state to help immigrant workers get temporary federal visas. The measure is intended to ease a shortage of farm workers in the state.
“I would like to have the opportunity to state at the microphone why I don’t think we need 5,000 more illiterate peasants in Colorado,” Bruce said.
His outburst drew an audible gasp from the House.
“How dare you,” said state Rep. Kathleen Curry, a Democrat who was serving as chairwoman during the debate. She told the Republican lawmaker he was no longer recognized to speak.
Rep. Terrance Carroll, a Democrat, said the remark could result in a formal ethics complaint that would require a hearing and possible suspension, censure or expulsion.