A bill to require high schools in Illinois to carry insurance covering catastrophic injuries for student athletes failed to clear the Illinois House during the first week of the fall veto session. While lawmakers sympathized with the inspiration behind the legislation – the death of a high school football player at Eisenhower High School in Blue Island who had been paralyzed from the neck down after being tackled during a game 11 years ago – they couldn’t get past the added cost to school districts.
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State Rep. David Reis (R-Sainte Marie) says the proposal is another unfunded mandate thrust onto school districts in the state. Reis did say he’d be more open to the legislation after the first of the year, when he has had more time to talk with superintendents in his district about the financial impact. The bill failed on a vote of 41-68.