- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 26, 2015

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A measure is heading to Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner that would require students who suffer a concussion to get a doctor or trainer’s permission to return to sports or class.

The Illinois House passed the legislation on Monday and it was previously approved by the state Senate. The bill would require all Illinois school districts to create a plan so they are prepared to handle students who suffer concussions.

The measure, which was sponsored by Rep. Christian Mitchell of Chicago, will help schools evaluate head injuries because the signs of a concussion aren’t always apparent, according to the lawmaker.

“This was something that needed to happen, and I’m glad it’s happening now,” he said.

The bill passed by a 104-1 vote, with Rep. David Leitch of Peoria being the only member of the Illinois House to oppose it, because he believes the bill is too expansive and its measures could be too difficult for some school districts to implement.

“I think there will be a lot of confusion and controversial rules,” Leitch said. “There are many ways to simplify it.”

Although the bill isn’t backed by any legal or financial mandates, schools who don’t comply could be liable in a civil lawsuit, according to Sen. Kwame Raoul of Chicago, who sponsored the bill in the state Senate after his 17-year-old son and 14-year-old daughter both suffered concussions this year.

High schools currently are required to follow Illinois High School Association protocol for concussions on the field, but the bill also would hold elementary and middle schools accountable.

The bill was amended in April to include academics, instead of only addressing students’ return to athletics following a concussion.

Rauner’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment regarding the bill, the State Journal-Register (https://bit.ly/1FB9rdB ) reported.

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Information from: The State Journal-Register, https://www.sj-r.com


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