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Lawmaker wants to remove controversial word from Colorado statutes

DENVER — A Colorado lawmaker is pushing to update insensitive or outdated terminology in statutes that refer to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities or physical disabilities.

The big one is sometimes referred to as the R-wordRep. Steve Lebsock, D-Northglenn, is sponsoring House Bill 17-1046.

It would replace “mentally retarded,” “mentally deficient person” and “mental deficiency” or “mentally deficient” with ‘a person with an intellectual and developmental disability.

It would update “mental defect” to “mental illness.” And it would replace “physical defect” with “physical disability.”

The bill was considered by the Public Health Care and Human Services committee on Tuesday and advanced.