Anti-Concussion Bill Heads to Bullock’s Office

By Beacon Staff

GREAT FALLS — A bill that would require student-athletes to be removed from play after they show signs of having a concussion is headed to Gov. Steve Bullock’s desk.

The Senate passed Senate Bill 112 on Thursday. It is named for Dylan Steigers, a former Missoula Sentinel star who died after suffering a concussion at an Eastern Oregon football practice.

Democratic Sen. Anders Blewett, the bill’s sponsor, tells the Great Falls Tribune he expects Bullock to sign the measure into law.

“It was great to see the legislation pass and see Montana become the 45th state to enact legislation (like this),” Blewett said.

The bill calls for educating players and coaches on concussions and requires the players’ removal if an athlete exhibits signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with concussions.

The athlete must receive clearance from a medical professional before returning to competition.

Blewett, a former star wrestler at Great Falls High and football player at Harvard, said he has seen more than his share of concussed teammates and opponents.

“I’ve seen so many people go through the meat grinder and not take concussions as seriously as they should or could have had we known about it,” Blewett said. “I can’t overstate concussion awareness. It’s saving lives and preserving futures all over the country.”

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