Legislation would require closer oversight of brain injuries
May 29, 2009
AUGUSTA – The House of Representatives Friday unanimously gave initial approval to a bill introduced by Rep. Adam Goode, D-Bangor, that would require the Department of Education to take a harder look at the incidence of childhood brain injuries.
Goode worked closely on the drafting of the bill, LD 866, with a Winslow family that has a child with a brain injury.
The bill would require the department to examine discrepancies in data regarding the number of children in the state identified with brain injuries. Goode said that separate studies conducted by MaineCare and the Office of Special Services have had huge discrepancies in their data.
“In order to properly educate and care for students with brain injuries, we need to focus on identifying and assessing children in our schools,” said Goode. “I’m pleased that the House saw the importance of having proper information about the incidence of brain injuries.”
The Department of Education would also be required to investigate the availability of testing and screening and use that information to develop a plan to institute an annual health screening in schools for brain injury. Recommendations would be reported back to the Legislature by Feb. 15, 2010.
The bill faces further votes in the House and Senate.
Rep. Adam Goode, 991-7000
Lori Eschholz, legislative aide, 287-1430
Kyle Leighton, communications director, 287-1433