Concussion bill clears House

A bill aimed at protecting young athletes from the dangers of concussions cleared the Montana House by a vote of 76-22 Tuesday.

Senate Bill 112 now heads back to the Senate, where it passed 33-15 on Feb. 9, for a second reading. The amended bill must pass the Senate a final time before going to Governor Steve Bullock’s desk.

Senate Bill 112 is dubbed Dylan Steiger’s Protection of Youth Athletes Act. The bill is named in honor of Steiger, a teenager from Missoula who died in 2010 after suffering a traumatic brain injury during a spring football scrimmage while playing for Eastern Oregon University.

The bill would require all school-sanctioned sports to provide concussion education to all participating athletes, coaches, trainers and parents. It would mean no same-game return for players who suffer a possible concussion, and players would have to be released by qualified medical personnel and pass a concussion evaluation before returning to action.

Montana is one of just seven states that doesn’t have such legislation on the books.

Click here to read the full bill. Click here to follow the bill’s progression.