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Senate passes bills deleting ‘retarded’ from laws

- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 5, 2014

LANSING, Mich. — Legislation removing the terms "mental retardation" and "mentally retarded" from state law unanimously has passed the state Senate.

A similar package of bills is expected to easily pass the House this afternoon.

The legislation passed Wednesday incorporates some recent recommendations from a mental health commission appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder. The bipartisan bills strike references to outdated language such as "retarded" from various statutes and instead use terms such as "developmentally disabled" or "intellectually disabled."

Democratic Sen. Rebekah Warren of Ann Arbor is a bill sponsor. She says it's "a fundamental first step" toward "ensuring everyone in our state is treated with the dignity and the respect they deserve."

Special Olympics Michigan has said Michigan is among just a handful of states not to have already passed such legislation.

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