Michigan House, Senate vote unanimously to remove “retard(ed)” from state laws

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Michigan Senators and Representatives took the pledge to "Spread the Word to End the Word" on March 5, 2014.
On Wednesday, March 5, both the Michigan Senate and House unanimously voted to remove the term "retard(ed)" from state laws. "This will scrub Michigan's statutes of old words that now offend," said state Sen. Rebekah Warren, D-18th District as she addressed the Senate. "Take this back to your communities and show that we're an inclusive state that values all our citizens." Sen. Warren sponsored the Senate Resolution along with Sen. Bruce Caswell, R-16th District. Representatives Gail Haines, R-43rd District, Matt Lori, R-59th District, and Phil Cavanagh, D-10th District, sponsored the House Resolution. The "R-Word" is currently used 17 times in a variety of Michigan laws dealing with everything from mental health institutions to educational facilities and criminal activity. Each chamber will now consider the other chamber’s bills before the package moves to Gov. Rick Snyder for a signature. Once completed, Michigan will become the 44th state to remove the “R-Word” from its laws.

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Aaron Mills is the Public Relations and Social Media Coordinator for Special Olympics Michigan