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Va. House Panel Backs Youth Sports Concussions Bill

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File photo of a football game. (Credit: Doug Benc/Getty Images)

File photo of a football game. (Credit: Doug Benc/Getty Images)

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RICHMOND, Va.— Youth sports programs that use public school property would have to establish procedures for identifying and handling concussions if legislation advancing in the Virginia General Assembly becomes law.

The House Education Committee voted 16-5 to endorse the bill Monday. The measure has already passed the Senate.

Democratic Sen. Ralph Northam, a Norfolk pediatric neurologist, is the bill’s sponsor. He says sports-related concussions are a big problem that needs to be addressed.

Public schools already are required to have concussion policies. Northam’s bill would extend that mandate to non-interscholastic sports programs using public school athletic fields and gymnasiums.

Opponents of the legislation said they were reluctant to impose the state’s will on private organizations.

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