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State Senate passes bill to drop ‘mental retardation’ term

MADISON — The Wisconsin Senate has passed a bill that would remove the term “mental retardation” from five state agencies’ administrative codes, even though Democratic Gov. Tony Evers ordered the deletion weeks ago.

The bill approved by the Senate on a voice vote Tuesday calls for replacing the term and derivatives with “intellectual disability” in regulations governing the agencies.

Evers angered the bill’s Republican authors in March when he issued an executive order requiring all state agencies to remove “mental retardation” from their regulations, largely negating the need for the bill.

But its supporters say banning it in law is stronger than an executive order, which a future governor could undo.

The Assembly was scheduled to pass the measure later Tuesday.

Evers has said he will sign it.

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