LANSING – House Bill 4205, introduced by state Representative Andy Schor (D-Lansing), passed the House by a unanimous vote today. The legislation would remove the term “crippled children” from the Public Health Code.
“This term is offensive to our children with special needs and to the parents that care for them. There is no place in the law for this term, and I am happy to work on a bipartisan and bicameral manner to strike this term from the law,” Schor said. “As elected officials, we are charged with making positive improvements for our constituents and Michiganders across the state. This bill is one giant step toward making a positive impact for the future.”
HB 4205 – along with HB 4203, introduced by Rep. Mike Callton (R-Nashville), and HB 4204, introduced by Rep. Joe Graves (R-Argentine Twp.) – are modeled after a bill passed last term that removed the “R-word” from law and replaced it with intellectually or developmentally disabled. Sen. Curtis Hertel (D-Meridian Twp.), Sen. Margaret O’Brien (R-Portage), and Sen. Jim Marleau (R-Lake Orion) also introduced bills in the Senate that are moving along with the three House bills.
Najeema McMahon, a parent of a 4-year-old daughter enrolled in the Children’s Special Health Care Services Program, applauded the bill’s passage.
“Removing the term ‘crippled child’ in Michigan law is a very meaningful change for our family,” McMahon said. “It’s very important that all children are referred to in a respectful and accurate way, and this language change acknowledges that children with special health care needs are capable of a full adaptive lifestyle. We’re very thankful to Rep. Schor for his attention and care with this issue.”