Our May 2014 trip to Albany and meeting with Senator Hannon and Legislators
Long Island TRIO has a long history and has had some major success with respect to legislative initiatives inclusive of educating New York State Senators and members of the Assembly. We had a successful trip to Albany and met with Assemblyman Chad A. Lupinacci who serves the 10th Assembly District serving the residents of Huntington and Babylon and with Senator Kemp Hannon on May 6, 2014.
Senator Hannon took the time to meet with Barbara Goldman and me in his office overlooking and over hearing the grand Senate chamber as we brainstormed with his Legislator.
Senator Kemp Hannon is knowledgable and approachable in all things regarding health issues. We had the pleasure of meting first with Senator Hannon and then with Senator Hannon and his Legislative Specialist. Barbara and I suggested that the age 15-17 should be changed to 16-17 due to among other reasons, the logistics at the DMV with respect to one’s first trip to the DMV to apply for the privilege to drive in New York State. Senator Hannnon and his Legislative Specialist were open to this suggestion and even remarked that they were initially uncomfortable (as were many LI TRIO members) about the age 15 issue. There will be further discussion about this issue.
The other issue has successfully been accomplished; that is the bill has now been amended to include what many LI TRIO members suggested. We suggested that there would need to be a parental signature when a person under eighteen years old enrolls in the Donate Life Registry. The bill has been amended.
Regarding an enrollee who is under eighteen: There must be a parental signature along with the signature of the Donate Life Registry enrollee.
The amendment states that parents or a legal guardian shall be notified and can rescind such decision to donate organs or tissue at the time of death; requires that the parent or legal guardian sign the registration along with the 15-17 year old and that such registration may be submitted by mail, in person, or electronically.
More from recent activity and favorable developments in Albany:
The New York State budget was passed and included specific language allowing for the transfer of the administration of the New York State Donate Life Organ and Tissue Donor Registry to a not-for-profit organization with experience facilitating organ, eye and tissue donation.
This was also specifically mentioned in Governor Cuomo’s State of the State address.
The Senate passed the bill last year. Special thanks is due to our friend and friend and Long Island TRIO guest speaker Senator Kemp Hannon for sponsoring this important bill that will New York State increase enrollment in the organ donor registry which will potentially help save many more lives.
Senator Hannon notes that eight of the top ten, and eleven of the top fifteen states rated in terms of registry performance have not-for-profit organizations whose sole focus is increasing organ, eye and tissue donation administering their state’s donor registry. It looks like New York State will follow this best practice model.
LI TRIO acknowledges the work of so many volunteers who made this possible and the bold leadership of Aisha M. Tator- Executive Director, New York Alliance for Donation
Some background: We met with Senator Hannon last year and we discussed the bill. The original bill was sponsored by Senator Kemp Hannon and passed the Senate.
The New York State Senate passed a bill aimed at increasing organ donation in New York State. The bill (S.5046A), sponsored by our friend and LI TRIO guest speaker Senator Kemp Hannon, Chairman of the Senate Health Committee, would provide that a non-profit contractor operate the New York State Donate Life Registry in an effort to increase donations.
“While New York State has the third highest need for transplantable organs, and one New Yorker dies every 15 hours awaiting a transplant, only 22 percent of our population is enrolled in the New York State Donate Life Registry,” said Senator Hannon. “My bill will increase enrollment by streamlining the registration process and creating new avenues for promotion.”
Currently, the organ donation registry is run by the state. New York State is 48th in the nation for organ donation, however, the state has a great need for transplantable organs, eyes, and tissue. This legislation would help New York increase enrollment in the Donate Life Registry by adopting the model of other states with the highest number of donors.
In eight of the top ten organ donation states, where more than 60 percent of eligible donors are on the registry, the operation and promotion of the registries have been turned over to non-profit organizations. Other large states such as California, Texas, Illinois and Florida have turned over their registries to a non-profit whose mission is dedicated to organ donation.
In his State of the State message delivered in Albany, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo outlined some of the state’s most important priorities and included increasing organ donation success rates and the promotion of organ donation as priorities.
The governor stated that with his“Building Community: Health” theme he does in fact support the creation of a public-private partnership with the organ donation community to increase enrollment in the New York State Donate Life Registry.
“New York has one of the lowest organ/tissue consent rates in the nation,” Mr. Cuomo said. In addition, he pointed out the New York donor registry “lags the country with an enrollment rate of 22 percent, compared to 45 percent reported by other states.”
More than 10,000 New Yorkers are waiting for The Gift Of Life.