Contact: Alec Zimmerman
[Madison, WI] — Today, Governor Tony Evers signed a bill into law that would remove the use of the phrase “mental retardation” and all of its derivatives from state administrative code. The bill, authored by Rep. John Jagler and Sen. Scott Fitzgerald, replaces the R-word with the phrase “intellectual disability.”
“I’m glad that the governor has decided to sign this bill. This term has no place in Wisconsin’s administrative code and our bill offers a permanent fix to this problem,” said Senator Fitzgerald. “I want to thank my Assembly colleague, Rep. Jagler, for his work on this, and thank the governor for taking swift action on our legislation.”
In 2011 Act 126 was signed into law, deleting the offensive phrase from all state statutes. However, this offensive terminology was still found in the state’s administrative code in rules promulgated by numerous state agencies. Senate Bill 19 substitutes the phrase “intellectual disability,” striking the offensive phrase.
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) represents the 13th Senate District, which covers portions of Dodge, Jefferson, Waukesha, Washington, Dane, and Columbia counties.