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Idaho House passes bill removing outdated terms

BOISE — Idaho lawmakers have pushed forward a bill to eliminate words like “retarded” and “idiot” from state code.

The House approved a measure 68-1 to replace expressions considered offensive with more modern language, like “intellectually disabled.”

Rexburg Republican Rep. Mack Shirley said the state’s current labels for people with disabilities are disrespectful and need revamping.

Lawmakers who scoured state code starting last summer found 73 laws that include words like “handicapped,” “mentally deficient” and even “lunatic,” in one statute.

The sole nay vote Monday came from Twin Falls Republican Rep. Jim Patrick, who said he doesn’t think the word “handicapped” is insulting.

The measure now heads to the desk of Governor Butch Otter for final approval.

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