Chicago –State Senator Kwame Raoul (D‐Chicago) and Illinois House Minority Leader Tom Cross(R‐Oswego) sponsored House Bill 200 to address vital issue of concussion education. Governor Pat Quinn signed the legislation into law at Soldier Field on Thursday.
As father of a 13-year-old boy who is a rookie full‐contact football player and an 11-year-old girl active in organized basketball and soccer, this issue is a high priority for Senator Raoul. He believes that concussion education is critical for families across Illinois.
“We have seen too many disturbing stories about the long‐term negative impact of concussions,” said State Senator Kwame Raoul (D‐Chicago). “From junior football to youth hockey, from girls’ basketball or soccer to gymnastics, this new law will help make sure that young athletes are better protected from potentially life‐altering head injuries.”
Senator Raoul and House Minority Leader Cross collaborated with 1985 Super Bowl Champs Richard Dent, Kurt Becker and Otis Wilson, as well as NFL executives, the Chicago Sky, the Illinois High School Association, Illinois Association of Park Districts, Northwestern Memorial Hospital and others to craft this legislation, bringing greater awareness to the issue of concussions. Now that HB 200 has been authorized by the Governor it will become effective immediately.
Highlights on Concussion Education Legislation
- Requires the policy to be in compliance with the protocols, policies, and by‐laws of the IHSA.
- Requires that information on the school board’s concussion and head injury policy be a part of any agreement, contract, code, or other written instrument that a school district requires a student athlete and his or her parents or guardians to sign before participating in practice or interscholastic competition.
- Requires the IHSA to make available to all school districts, including elementary school districts, education materials, such as visual presentations and other written materials that describe the nature and risk of concussions and head injuries.
- It also encourages park districts to educate athletes and parents about the dangers of concussions using the IHSA materials or information from the Centers for Disease Control.
Years served: 2004 - Present
Committee assignments: Criminal Law (Vice-Chairperson); Insurance; Labor and Commerce; Judiciary (Chairperson); Public Health; Committee of the Whole; Public Pensions & State Investments (Co-Chairperson); Subcommittee on CLEAR Compliance (Sub-Chairperson); Conference Committee on SB1 (Chairperson).
Biography: Attorney; born September 30, 1964; Bachelor's degree from DePaul University; J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law; married (wife, Kali), has two children.