MACo supported with amendments House Bill 1, sponsored by Delegate Dereck Davis and House Bill 858 , sponsored by Delegate Sheila Hixson, before the House Ways and Means Committee on March 2. MACo’s Parks and Recreation Affiliate Chair and Talbot County Parks and Recreation Director, Rick Towle, Howard County Recreation and Parks Director John Byrd and Allan Harden, Superintendent of Sports, Howard County Recreation and Parks, suggested amendments to each bill to address problematic implementation issues for volunteer-run athletic programs, in terms of compliance with the bills’ requirements.
House Bill 1 would require each county board of education and the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association to establish guidelines for the evaluation and management of concussion and head injury. House Bill 858 would require the Maryland State Department of Education, in collaboration with specified stakeholders, to develop and implement a program of concussion awareness education. Both bills state that student athletes suspected of sustaining a concussion during play must be removed from play until cleared by a licensed health care provider. Athletic programs must verify their compliance with the bills’ provisions.
MACo and the Parks and Recreation affiliate indicated a willingness to work with the bills’ sponsors on amendments to exempt volunteer-run programs until a verification and compliance framework can be put together that warrants their inclusion.