Bill on soccer goals delayed for study
Posted: February 15, 2013
The Winchester Star
RICHMOND — Legislation that would prohibit the sale of movable soccer goals that tip has been delayed so that further study can be done on the bill.
The bill passed the Senate last month, and on Thursday passed the House’s Health, Welfare and Institutions Committee by a 20-to-1 vote. However, the House enacted a re-enactment clause, which means the bill will be taken up again during next year’s session and will have to go through the entire legislative process again.
Bill sponsor Sen. Jill Vogel, R-Upperville, said the re-enactment clause has a neutral effect on the legislation, mainly because the bill wasn’t meant to take effect until July 1, 2014.
“The bill is in the exact same position,” Vogel said. “I believe that there is no harm and this allows them to have more discussion.”
Vogel said legislators want to study the bill to determine what kind of effect it will have. They will have until Nov. 1 to do so.
Frederick County resident Mary Ellias, whose 10-year-old son, Hayden, was killed by a portable soccer goal in 2007, has testified twice this year in front of legislators in an effort to get the bill passed.
She believes Thursday’s vote of 20 to 1 in favor of the bill was a victory, even though she will most likely have to re-testify next year.
“I feel it’s a huge, giant step in the right direction,” she said. “I feel that people understand the bill and what I’m trying to do.”
Since Hayden’s death, Ellias has advocated for soccer organizations and schools nationwide to anchor their soccer goals and alert players to the risks of not doing so.
“I’m one step closer to keeping my promise to Hayden,” she said.
— Contact Rebecca Layne at email@example.com