State Sen. Marc Panepinto, D-Buffalo, announced the passage of his co-sponsored legislation, known as Lauren's Law (S.6228) in a unanimous vote today. The legislation is named for 12-year-old Lauren Shields who received a heart transplant in 2009. It is designed to promote and increase organ and tissue donation. Today's vote extends those efforts by four years.
New York is currently ranked last in the country for organ and tissue donation.
"It's time to stop side-stepping the issue," Panepinto said. "When it's as simple as checking a box, it is inexcusable that New York ranks 50th in the country for registered organ donors - especially when doing so has the potential to save tens of thousands of lives.
"With more than 10,000 New Yorkers currently waiting for an organ donation, it is imperative that we make every effort possible to hammer home the significance of these life-saving donations. I am proud that my colleagues in the Senate joined me in that sentiment through the extension of Lauren's Law today. I am confident that my fellow lawmakers in the Assembly will make the right decision and pass this life-saving measure."
First passed in 2012 and set to expire this year, Panepinto's co-sponsored legislation requires drivers to check "yes" or "skip the question" when answering the question, "Would you like to be added to the Donate Life registry?" during the DMV application or renewal process.
Panepinto represents the 60th Senate district, which includes parts of the City of Buffalo as well as communities in both the north and the south towns of Western New York.