Advocacy Report 2011
The First Regular Session of the 96th Missouri General Assembly ended on May 13. During the session several bills were filed that may impact the access to services for Survivors of brain injury and the prevention of brain injuries.
The Brain Injury Association of Missouri (BIA-MO) was a leading organization in the passage of the “Inter-Scholastics Youth Sports Brain Injury Prevention Act” (House Bill 300). This legislation is commonly referred to as the Sports Concussion Legislation and it protects student-athletes from possible long-term effects of a sports-related concussion. Governor Jay Nixon signed HB300 on July 13, 2011.
Key components of HB300 are:
- Requires annual education for coaches, parents and athletes.
- Removes the athlete from practice or play when a concussion is suspected.
- Requires clearance for return to play by a licensed health care provider trained in the evaluation and management of a concussion.
BIA-MO was active in efforts to prevent brain injuries due to motorcycle crashes. Bills to repeal Missouri’s all-rider motorcycle helmet law were filed in both the Missouri House of Representatives and the Senate. Senate testimony was provided with neither bill passing. This is great news for Missouri because motorcycle helmets save lives.
Regarding access to services, House Bill 10 reinstated a 1.9% increase to the Department of Mental Health (DMH) Provider Rate. This increase will help provide more services for individuals with developmental disabilities, including persons whose brain injury occurred before the age of 22. It will also reduce the number of individuals waiting for services from the DMH. HB10 was signed by Governor Jay Nixon.
Changes to the Missouri Head Injury Advisory Council will be made with the passage of House Bill 464. These changes include the council name to become the Missouri Brain Injury Advisory Council (MBIAC). State agency representatives will no longer be appointed by Council members and the MBIAC will be under the direction of the Department of Health and Senior Services, not the Governor’s Office. HB464 was signed by Governor Jay Nixon.
Unique legislative action this year included House Bill 555 which was an omnibus bill with numerous provisions regarding individuals with developmental disabilities.
The majority of provisions of HB555 were included in the final version passed by the Missouri Senate. Two significant provisions of the bill are the creation of Disability History and Awareness Month, and the expansion of the MO Health Net Oversight Committee to 19 members. Governor Jay Nixon signed HB555 on July 12, 2011.
Comprehensive Day Rehabilitation Services as a covered MO Health Net service was not included in the passed version of HB555. Rep. Jeff Grisamore, District 47, has vowed to continue to work on this important issue in the Missouri House.
As a leading advocacy organization in Jefferson City, BIA-MO will continue to work with legislators to enact legislation to prevent brain injuries and provide access to services for persons with brain injury.
BIA-MO will be active in the implementation of HB300 and changes to the MBIAC. Advocacy efforts will also include involvement with the MBIAC, Congress on Disability Policy, and Missouri Association of Rehabilitation Facilities.
Your advocacy efforts are needed too. Please sign-up as a BIA-MO Advocate by sending an email to email@example.com. As a BIA-MO Advocate you will receive Advocacy Alerts when letters, emails and phone calls are needed to inform and educate elected officials about important legislation.
To Look up Bills on the Missouri General Assembly page:
To locate your State Senator visit the Missouri State Senate website: http://www.senate.mo.gov/llookup/leg_lookup.aspx