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Rally Promotes Brain Injury Legislation

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can have profound and devastating effects on the victims, often impacting them for the rest of their lives. Survivors of TBI and their families gathered at the state capitol Wednesday to increase awareness about the challenges they face on a daily basis.

They also sought to call attention to three issues: mandatory helmets for children riding bicycles, protecting Medicaid benefits for those with a brain injury, and helping veterans who live with the problem.

Here is a sampling of the speeches made at the rally.

House Bill 254, sponsored by Rep. Joni Jenkins (D-Shively), would require parents to ensure that children under 12 years old wear helmets when riding a bicycle. The bill is named in honor of TJ Floyd, an Oldham County child who sustained a life-changing brain injury after he fell off his bike.

Under the legislation, violators could face a $25 fine, half of which would go to the Kentucky trauma care system fund and half to the state traumatic brain injury trust fund. The bill has been before the House Transportation Committee since mid-January.

Eddie Reynolds of the Brain Injury Alliance of Kentucky said the measure is not meant to be punitive, but to help reinforce the fact that helmets save lives.

Follow @ReneeKET on Twitter for updates throughout the day, and for a recap of the full day’s activities, watch Legislative Update, weeknights at 11 on KET. You can also follow the Kentucky General Assembly on KET’s Legislative Coverage App for your smartphone or tablet.