Hayashi’s Concussion Bill Heads To The Governor’s Desk And Into Your Face

ELECTION ’12//ASSEMBLY | Get ready for what will likely be the linchpin of Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi’s rhetorical argument as she bids for Nadia Lockyer’s former seat on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors.

The Assembly voted 65-0 Monday to send Hayashi’s high school sports concussion bill to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk for approval. Brown has 12 days to sign the bill or veto it, or do nothing and allow it to become law, according to the Sacramento Bee.

Hayashi’s AB 1461 path had been unopposed by members of both legislative branches. The bill sailed through the state Senate 36-0 in May. A senate amendment, however, approved by the Assembly calls for the bill to allow high school coaches to procure the proposed training to help identify the signs of concussions among student athletes from free or online sources.

A similar bill offered by Hayashi last year ultimately languished in an Assembly committee’s suspense file and was far more proactive. AB 1646 would have required high school coaches to additionally pull athletes out of games when the signs of trauma to the head were noticed. Discussion over exactly who would pay for such training may have been a determining factor is the bills inability to gain much traction.

While it is not clear whether Brown will allow the current version of Hayashi’s vision to become law in the next couple of weeks. However, if it does, be on the look out for her campaign highlighting its passage at every turn. It has everything a consultant is looking for from a legislator effectively running for re-election, albeit not from her current perch in Sacramento, but essentially, the same group of voter at the county level. Look for these potential talking points:

It shows legislative success in getting bills passed. Caters suburban voters with children who play sports. In addition, you can’t go wrong by standing closely next to the perception you, the elected official, is protecting children whether it be from sexual predators or the 300-pound high school junior with intentions of sacking your son for a 10-yard loss. Of course, you don’t have to tell the truth in political campaigns and none of these talking points are rooted in much more than hyperbole regarding this potential new law, but they sound good, and that’s all that really counts.

Hayashi is already trumpeting this bill and others in a mailer sent to constituents in her Assembly district. Critics of Hayashi have claimed her recent spate of taxpayer-funded correspondence as of late is really an attempt to raise her profile away from her shoplifting conviction to her legislative record on their dime. But, there is nothing illegal about using the power and advantages of the incumbency. In fact, it’s a time-honored piece of political gamesmanship.