State Roundup: House passes youth concussion legislation

From Illinois News Network

A measure to ensure there are proper procedures to get kids back into the classroom after suffering a concussion passed the House Memorial Day.

Senate Bill 7 from Democratic State Senator Kwame Raoul urges school districts to develop policies to ensure children in all education levels, from grade school to high school, ease back into the classroom after receiving a head injury.

Supporters in the House said the measure does not include any further allocation of funds in order for the new protocols to be implemented.

The amended measure passed the Senate last month and would require a doctor to sign off before a student could return to sports or the classroom.

Tuition for exonerees in House

A measure that would have Illinois taxpayers pick up the education tab for individuals exonerated of a crime passed both houses, but not without objections. During Memorial Day debate in the House on Senate Bill 223, Republican Representative Ron Sandack said paying restitution to someone wrongfully convicted of a crime they did not commit makes senses, but the measure isn’t quite soup yet.

“Let’s be clear, Illinois does compensate people who have been exonerated just like many states. The idea of adding on compensation for education–again a good idea–but we haven’t the faintest idea what it will cost. Not even a scintilla of a clue.”

Sandack said lawmakers should go back to the drawing board to create a pilot program or a task force but despite his and others’ objections the House passed the Senate Bill 67-39 and it now heads to the Governor’s desk. If signed by the Governor the program would be subject to appropriation. As of right now it’s not known how much would be appropriated for the program.

Amended drone bill heads back to Senate

A measure that creates a task force to oversee the use of private and public drones passed the House and is now headed back to the Senate to find common ground on several different amendments.

Senate Bill 44 from Democratic State Senator Julie Morrison as introduced would have made the use unmanned aerial vehicles for hunting, including using the so-called drones to fish, illegal.

The measure was amended in the Senate before passage to create the Unmanned Aerial System Oversight Task Force in an effort to evaluate and provide recommendations on the safe and lawful use of drones. By the time it passed the House there were three different amendments that allow the Governor to appoint members of the taskforce and to have the state’s Department of Transportation provide administrative support.

The amended measure passed the House unanimously but heads back to the Senate for concurrence.

Requiring Hep C test offerings

A measure that requires health professionals to offer Hepatitis C screenings to people born between 1945 and 1965 is on the way to the Governor’s desk. Senate Bill 661 passed the House Tuesday after passing the Senate last month.

The amended measure would require insurers to provide coverage for the screening, something that a balanced budget note on the bill says will likely impact the state’s Medicaid and Group Health Insurance programs. That’s something that concerned Democrat Representative Jack Franks who said he supports the idea but asked how the measure would be paid for.

“It’s hard to keep adding more and more programs when we can’t even pay for what we have. So no matter how well intentioned it might be we need to have a plan to be able to pay for it and that’s my concern.”

Franks voted “no”. Despite other objections the measure passed 67-42 and now heads to the Governor’s desk.

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