Palmesano Announces The Passage Of Lauren’s Law

Measure would require organ donation information be provided on driver license applications

Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C,I – Corning) today announced the passage of “Lauren’s Law,” Assembly Bill 10039-B. The bill, sponsored by Palmesano, is expected to pass the Senate as well. Palmesano, an organ donor, noted that the bill will help increase organ donor enrollments throughout the state as well as prolong and enhance the lives of thousands of New Yorkers waiting for a transplant.

The legislation is named after Lauren Shields from Rockland County, who received a heart transplant in 2009 and celebrated her 12th birthday this past April.

“Organ donors are sorely needed, and the opportunity to help someone in need is priceless,” said Palmesano. “I’ve seen firsthand the impact that organ donation can have on a family and would like to encourage everyone to register as an organ donor.”

In 2009, New York ranked last in the country for the number of new donors, something Lauren’s Law will change by increasing enrollment on the state organ donor registry by prohibiting a driver license application from being processed unless the organ donation section is completed. While there is an existing organ donation section on the application, applicants are currently not required to fill it out. The new measure would require individuals who apply for a driver license to complete the organ donor registry section of the application by selecting either “yes” or “skip this question.”

Palmesano also recently co-sponsored a resolution in the state Assembly proclaiming April 2011 as Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness Month in New York. The resolution was unanimously adopted.

Individuals who would like to become organ and tissue donors may sign up online at the New York State Organ and Tissue Donor Registry by visiting their Web site.