Sen. Julie A. Morrison

SPRINGFIELD – Students with epilepsy will be better protected at school under a new law signed today by Gov. JB Pritzker and sponsored by State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield).

“Nationwide, 470,000 children are affected by epilepsy. As children spend a large part of their day in the classroom, it is imperative schools are prepared to handle the unique set of health care needs of these students,” Morrison said.

Morrison’s new law – contained in House Bill 1475 – creates the Seizure Smart School Act, which would require the development of a plan for students with epilepsy that includes training for employees and care aides on how to handle students with the disorder.

The plan requires a student’s parents or guardians to share the health care provider’s instructions on managing the student’s epilepsy and include a copy of any prescriptions and how and when to administer those medicines.

"Many people who develop epilepsy do so during their school years,” said Bryan Anderson, President and CEO of the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago. "It is important for school personnel to know how to recognize a seizure and how to appropriately respond should it happen in a school setting. Enactment of this legislation can save lives.”

House Bill 1475 passed the Senate without opposition on May 16 and was signed today by the governor. The new law takes effect on July 1, 2020.