On March 9, MACo supported with amendments, Senate Bill 771 sponsored by Senator Joan Carter Conway, before the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee. 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.
Senate Bill 771 would require the State Department of Education in collaboration with the State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, county boards of education and certain athletic and brain injury associations to establish guidelines for the evaluation and management of concussion and head injury. The bill states that student athletes suspected of sustaining a concussion during play must be removed from play until cleared by a licensed health care provider.
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. MACo offered similar testimony for two House concussion bills.