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Chapa LaVia apologizes for ‘minorities’ remark

SPRINGFIELD — During a debate over charter school legislation on the House floor, comments made by state Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia may have landed her in hot water.

“Listen to me minorities,” Chapa LaVia, a Democrat from Aurora, said during the discussion, waving her hand at fellow Democrat members around her. “I’m over here because we’re all over on this side, right?”

As commotion breaks out on the floor, Chapa LaVia continued.

“Wait. We have a half. We have a half,” Chapa LaVia said on the floor, pointing away from the Democrat members.

Minority state representatives, including Rep. John Anthony, a Republican from Morris, were also on the House floor during the discussion.

Rep. Dennis Reboletti, a Republican from Addison, said that while he has a profound amount of respect for Chapa LaVia, the GOP representatives deserved an apology.

“When you turned and only looked at the Democrat side of the aisle and said, ‘Oh, minorities only…’ I guess we don’t have any minorities on our side of aisle,” Reboletti said. “I don’t think that’s very fair, representative, what you did. That’s terrible.”

Chapa LaVia said late Wednesday that she later apologized to House members for her comments during a “passionate and overwhelming” debate.

“The comments were taken out of context. It’s extremely frustrating,” Chapa LaVia said.