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Brain Injury Association of America Legislative Update

The following legislative update has been prepared by the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA), the nation's oldest and largest brain injury advocacy group:

BIAA Submits Testimony to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees This week, the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) submitted testimony to the House and Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies. The appropriations request includes:

TBI Model Systems

BIAA calls on Congress to Support the TBI Model System program by increasing funding by $13 million over the next six years:

  • Increase funding for the National Data and Statistical Center by $100,000 annually to allow all participants to be followed; when re-competed, increase from $625,000 to $1 million annually;
  • Increase funding for centers by $150,000 annually from the current average of $437,500;
  • Increase the number of competitively funded centers from 16 to 18; and
  • Increase the number of multicenter TBI Model Systems Collaborative Research projects from one to five, each with an annual budget of $1.5 million (current funding is $600,000 each).

BIAA also urges that the TBI Model Systems receive "line-item" status within the broader NIDILRR budget.

TBI State Grant and Protection and Advocacy Grant Programs

On Oct. 1, 2015, the HHS Secretary transferred the TBI State Grant program to the Administration for Community Living, Administration on Disabilities' Independent Living Administration and the Protection & Advocacy (P&A) Grant Program to the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Only 20 states receive TBI State grants, and all the P&A grants are severely under-funded.

  • Appropriate $9.76 million to fund the Federal TBI State and P&A Grant Programs plus an additional $1 million for the Federal TBI State Grant Program to increase the number of State grants (4 additional states) and $2 million total for the P&A Grant Program to increase the amount of grant awards.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention The TBI Act of 1996, as amended, authorizes funding for data, prevention, public education and research.

  • Support CDC in its mandate to review the scientific evidence related to brain injury management in children and identify opportunities for research;
  • Support TBI national surveillance;
  • Appropriate $10 million to fund CDC's TBI programs; and
  • Support the President's Fiscal Year 2017 budget request for $5 million for the CDC to accurately determine the incidence of sports related concussions among youth ages 5-21.

BIAA Advocates to Advance the Youth Sports Concussion Act

BIAA and the National Association of State Head Injury Administrators (NASHIA) spearheaded a stakeholder letter to urge the Senate Commerce Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee to include the Youth Sports Concussion Act (HR 4460/S. 2508) in the next executive session. The Youth Sports Concussion Act is sponsored by Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Reps. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-N.J.) and Thomas J. Rooney (R-Fla.), co-chairs of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force. Thirty six organizations signed on in support of moving this important legislation through the committee process.

The Youth Sports Concussion Act expressed the sense of Congress that the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) should review the National Academies' report on sports-related concussions and future research in such area for any matter that may impact products under the CPSC's jurisdiction or inform the FTC's efforts to protect consumers.

The bill makes it unlawful to sell or offer for sale in interstate commerce, or import into the United States for such purposes, athletic sporting equipment for which the seller or importer makes any deceptive claim with respect to the safety benefits of such an item. Violations shall be treated as unfair or deceptive acts or practices under the Federal Trade Commission Act. The bill sets forth the enforcement authority of the FTC. States may bring civil actions in federal court to obtain injunctive relief on behalf of state residents unless a civil or administrative action has already been instituted by the FTC. The FTC may intervene and appeal in state actions.

The Youth Sports Concussion Act is an important piece of legislation because it will protect our nation's youth who participate in sports related activities from concussions and other injuries by discouraging false advertising claims regarding protective equipment used in competitive sports.

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