Gov. Stitt vetoes measure that would create Traumatic Brain Injury Task Force

STILLWATER, Okla. – The governor has vetoed a bill that would have provided additional resources to families suffering from a traumatic brain injury.

Alicia Murie’s life changed suddenly in 1997 when she was hit by a truck.

At just 16-years-old, she was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury that has affected her life into adulthood.

“It’s like the car door’s slamming into my left side all over again, and usually I might end up bawling my eyes out because of how bad it hurts,” she told News 4 earlier this month.

Since the accident, Murie has dedicated her life to helping others in similar situations. In 2012, she went to the Oklahoma State Capitol to speak with lawmakers about what was being done to help survivors like herself.

When she learned that lawmakers had no plans, she started drafting her own legislation.

She helped author House Bill 1979, which would create a TBI task force to bring together victims, their families and caregivers to find more resources for traumatic brain injuries.

The bill passed the House and the Senate, which sent it to the governor's desk.

However, he vetoed the measure on Tuesday.

"House Bill 1979 would create the Traumatic Brain Injury Task Force (Task Force). The eleven member Task Force would identify the needs of and best-practice approaches to traumatic brain injury survivors in Oklahoma. House Bill 1979 does not contain a sunset provision nor does it clarify whether members will receive travel reimbursement. I support improving healthcare outcomes for all Oklahomans, including those with traumatic brain injuries, I do not believe House Bill 1979 is the most direct and effective way to do so, and I will work directly with my Cabinet Secretaries and agency directors to address this issue and work with the authors of this legislation to implement any necessary changes," Stitt said in a note to the House of Representatives.

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