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Brain Injury Legislative Update

The following legislative update on developments on traumatic brain injury in Washington has been prepared by the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA):

Defense
Appropriations Bill Approved

 

The Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee approved a $594 billion fiscal 2014 Defense spending bill this week. In the bill there is a $60 million increase in Pentagon medical research efforts for traumatic brain injury and psychological health.

 

HELP
Committee Passes Reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act, S. 1356

 

This week, the Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee passed the reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). The WIA Reauthorization has been over due since 2003. The bill passed through committee by an 18-3 vote, and will now be considered by the full Senate.

 

In the bill, the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)  will be moved to the Administration on Community Living (ACL) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). NIDRR is renamed the National Institute on Disability and Independent Living Research (NIDILR). NIDILR is where the TBI
Model Systems are located. There are 16 TBI Model Systems throughout the United States that provide care and collect information on individuals with traumatic brain injury during the acute hospital stay and in the community after discharge.

 

Title V of WIA reauthorize the Rehabilitation Act, including vocational rehabilitation (VR) programs. According to the committee press release the updates to the Title V are aimed at making sure that young people with disabilities have increased preparation and opportunities for competitive, integrated employment.  The bill requires state VR agencies, in conjunction with local educational agencies, to make "pre-employment transition services" available to students with disabilities. Updates to the bill also focus on creating better alignment of government programs at the national level that are focused on employment and independent living for people with disabilities.

 

Congressional Hearing on Human Brain Research

 

This week the House Committee on Science, Subcommittee on Research and Technology held a
hearing entitled the Frontiers of Human Brain Research. Witness included Dr. Story Landis, Director of National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke at the National Institutes of Health, Michael McLoughlin, Deputy
Business Area Executive, Research and Exploratory Development at Applied Physics Laboratory at John Hopkins University, U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant Joseph Deslauriers Jr., Dr. Marcus Raichle, Professor of Radiology, Neurology, Neurobiology and Biomedical Engineering at Washington University, and Dr. Gene Robinson, Director at the Institute for Genomic Biology, Swanlund Chair, Center for Advanced Study Professor in Entomology and Neuroscience at the University of Illinois.  

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