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Senate Unanimously Passes Student Concussion Bill

Doogan bill would protect athletes from serious brain injuries

JUNEAU - Today the Alaska Senate unanimously passed a bill that would protect student athletes from serious brain injuries resulting from multiple concussions.

HB 15, sponsored by Rep. Mike Doogan (D-Anchorage) will require that a student with a suspected concussion be removed from play or practice and not return until cleared by a qualified medical professional. It will prevent potential serious brain injuries that can be caused by multiple concussions.

"This bill was a personal top priority this session, and I'm grateful to everyone who helped pass it. Sometimes the little bills produce big results, and HB 15 will help prevent young people from suffering serious brain injuries. I'm happy that it received so much support."

The Senate companion bill was sponsored by Sen. Lesil McGuire. McGuire carried HB 15 on the Senate floor. The bill was strongly supported by the National Football League, the Alaska Brain Injury Network, the Alaska Schools Activities Association and many others.

"I was happy to cross-sponsor this bill as it will go a long way toward educating parents, coaches, and student athletes about the importance of preventing permanent head trauma. I will always encourage participation in sports by Alaska youth but it is important to ensure that the young people who may sustain a concussion can go on and live productive lives with the full use of their mental capacities," said Senator McGuire. 

It now goes to the governor to be signed into law.

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