A effort has been started in the Alaska Legislature to remove references to mental retardation from state policies.
On Monday 2 Republican lawmakers from Anchorage introduced bills in the House and Senate to remove the terms "mental retardation" and "mentally retarded" from state health, education and labor policies. The terms will be replaced by the phrase "intellectual and developmental disabilities." Senator Kevin Meyer introduced Senate Bill 39 that was referred to the Senate Health and Social Services Committee. He notes that mental retardation has become a term widely used to degrade and insult people with intellectual disabilities. The companion piece of legislation in the House is House Bill 88 sponsored by Representative Charisse Millett who notes that similar legislation has already been passed in 40 other states.