Wisconsin state agencies would be banned from using the term "mental retardation" or "mentally retarded" under a bill that passed the full state Legislature Tuesday.
The bill would require agencies to use the term "intellectual disability" instead.
It would apply to administrative rules written by the Department of Health Services, the Department of Children and Families, the Public Service Commission, the Department of Safety and Professional Services and the Department of Workforce Development.
It's similar to an executive order Gov. Tony Evers signed last month, but Rep. John Jagler, R-Watertown, said it was more effective to write the requirement into law.
"It's going to be more efficient, it's going to be faster than going through the administrative rules process," Jagler said. "And also, doing it statutorily, it's a permanent fix."
While Evers has said he plans to sign the bill, his executive order has created a rift between the governor and Republicans who contend Evers was trying to take credit for an issue on which they've taken the lead.
They note that Evers' order was issued shortly before the public hearing on this bill and without any notice from the governor.
"This was a really wasted opportunity that could have started the session off on a high note," Jagler said.
Still, the plan passed both the houses of the Legislature on voice votes Tuesday, with members of both parties supporting it.
"My daughter was a special ed teacher," said Sen. Dave Hansen, D-Green Bay. "If there's one thing she wanted to see changed, (it was) the language here that was an insult."
Sign up for daily news!
Stay informed with WPR's email newsletter.
The plan now heads to the governor's desk.
The Assembly and Senate also sent a bill to Evers' desk that would rename the Winnebago County interchange of Interstate-41, U.S. Highway 10 and State Highway 441 as the Michael G. Ellis Memorial Interchange.
Ellis, who served until the Wisconsin Legislature for more than four decades, died last year at age 77.
He was known at the state capitol for his fiery speeches and his humor, in addition to his intricate knowledge of the state budget.
"Life is fragile," said Sen. Robert Cowles, R-Green Bay, the measure's sponsor and a longtime friend of Ellis'. "You talk to him one day and he's gone the next. So we're trying to dedicate a little road in his memory."
Also Tuesday, the state Assembly passed a bill that would end a state tax deduction for companies that move out of Wisconsin.
Right now a business can deduct all expenses it paid to move from one location to another. The bill would end that deduction when a company moves out of state.
"We understand how the business climate works where sometimes people have to relocate and we can't do anything to stop that," said Rep. Adam Neylon, R-Pewaukee. "But what we can do is make sure that state taxpayers aren't helping pay for people to move out of state and create jobs elsewhere."
The plan passed the Assembly without debate. It has yet to receive a vote in the state Senate.