State Senator apologizes for 'colored,' poverty comments at hearing

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A state senator has apologized for comments he made during a public hearing in which he described minorities as "colored" and "coloreds."

Sen. Jim Honeyford, a Republican from Sunnyside issued a written apology Thursday, saying that he realized that the language wasn't appropriate and that he will continue to serve his district "with diligence and increased sensitivity."

Honeyford's remarks came during a Feb. 28 hearing on a bill that would require future legislation to have impact statements identifying potentially disparate consequences for minorities, the Yakima Republic Herald reported.

He described ethnic minorities as "colored" and "coloreds" in comments at the hearing and in subsequent interviews about his remarks. In interviews with the media, he said he was not sorry for the remarks.

It's "generally accepted that poor are more likely to commit crimes, and generally, I think , accepted that people of color are more likely poor than not," Honeyford said. "So how does that factor into your equation."

When Honeyford's district was redrawn by the state Redistricting Commission in 2011, it became the state's first majority-Latino district.