(Juneau) Two Republicans from the Dodge County-area have introduced a bill to remove sensitive wording from state administrative code. Representative John Jagler (pictured) of Watertown and Senator Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau are seeking to replace the “r-word” with the phrase “intellectual disability.” Jagler says having a daughter with Down syndrome, he knows how hurtful the r-word can be. He says updating the terminology will go a long way into making state government more respectful of its citizens with disabilities. Fitzgerald says he is happy to work with Jagler on the legislation and looks forward to working with Governor Tony Evers to make sure that it gets signed into law. The word was first removed from state statute in 2012 but still exists in the state’s administrative code in rules propagated by numerous agencies.
Representative Jagler statement:
“Having a daughter with Down syndrome, I know how hurtful the R-Word can be. Removing this phrase from statute in 2012 was a good start, but I believe we can do better. Our administrative code shouldn’t contain terms that would make others not feel included or make them feel like they are not as valuable as their neighbors. Updating the terminology will go a long way into making our state government more respectful of its citizens with disabilities.”