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Bill Eliminates “Mental Retardation” In State Law

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File photo of a gavel in court.  (Credit: Thinkstock)

File photo of a gavel in court. (Credit: Thinkstock)

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida House panel has unanimously cleared a bill that would remove the term “mental retardation” from state laws and replace it with “intellectual disability.”

The House Health and Human Services committee voted up the bill (HB 1119) on Tuesday. It also would replace “mentally retarded” with “intellectually disabled.”

The change would not affect the content or effect of any laws. Proponents of the bill say the word “retarded” is outdated and has become offensive.

Forty-three states have already taken steps to remove the word “retarded” from their laws. President Obama signed a law in 2010 striking use of the term in federal policy.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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