Our View of the Legislature: Traumatic Brain Injury

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The bills that concern people with brain injury are now nearly complete.  Please know that, after a bill is approved by both houses of the legislature, it goes to the Governor for review.  The Governor can sign the bill, can veto the bill or can amend the bill.  If the bill is sent to the Governor with seven days or more left in the session, he must act on it within seven days.  If it is sent to the Governor with fewer than seven days left in the session, the Governor has 30 days to act.  That date is described in legislative services as the Governor’s “action deadline.”  These deadlines vary on the bills concerning brain injuries:

HB 1873, from Delegate Coyner, and SB 1421, from Senator Edwards, will eliminate the requirement that an injury occur before the age of 65 to constitute a brain injury.  Both bills have been approved and have been sent to the Governor for review.  The House bill must be acted on by the Governor by tomorrow, February 26, but the Senate bill has an action deadline of March 31st.

HB 2182, offered by Delegate Wilt, requires the Board of Education to amend the definition of “traumatic brain injury” to include an acquired injury to the brain caused by a medical condition.  The current regulatory definition of “traumatic brain injury” includes only an injury caused by an external physical force.  The bill was approved by both houses; the Governor has until March 31 to act on it.

SJ 276, from Senator Favola, and HJ 596, from Delegate Gooditis, designates September as Brain Aneurysm Awareness month. Both resolutions were approved by both houses.  Resolutions do not need action by the Governor, so these are now final.

dLCV’s mission is to advance independence, choice and self-determination; protect legal, human and civil rights; and eliminate abuse, neglect and discrimination of people with disabilities through zealous and uncompromising legal advocacy and representation.   We are available to educate policy makers about the potential impact of legislative proposals.

Please continue to check back here for regular updates on developments, especially as the Governor acts on legislation.