This month (March 2017), the North Dakota Senate passed , “A bill for an Act to create and enact… a brain injury advisory council.” Introduced in a bipartisan manner by Rep. D. Anderson (R-06) and Sen. Mathern (D-11), the bill passed the Senate unanimously.
According to the bill, the Council to be created will be comprised of at least one survivor, one family member of a survivor and others, both in government and outside of it. Beyond the bill’s aforementioned mission, though, the text of the bill says little of what the Council is to do.
However, the North Dakota Brain Injury Advisory Council can take a cue from similar Councils in other states. For example, in 2007, Washington State enacted House Bill 2055, which created the Washington Traumatic Brain Injury Strategic Partnership Advisory Council, “to bring together expertise from the public and private sector to address the needs and gaps in survivors.” In 2003, Montana created a council, “to advise and make recommendations to the Governor on ways to improve and develop services [to aid] people with brain injuries and their families.”
It is heartening to see that another state has recognized the importance of its brain injured constituents. It is just as important to see that it was done in a bipartisan manner, as brain injury doesn’t follow party lines.