The legislation would strike the phrases "mental retardation" and "mentally retarded" from California's laws and regulations. They'd be replaced with the term "intellectual disability." In its first committee test, the bill was approved unanimously, which is rare for state legislation. Democratic Senator Fran Pavley wrote the measure. She says over the years the term retardation has come to be used as a put-down:
Pavley: "As we progress as a society, we've lots of times changed names and terms when we realize they're offensive to groups of people. This is one of those cases."
Pavley says under the bill, the changes would be made gradually as documents were updated routinely over the next several years. The legislation heads next to the floor of the state senate.