Senate- S5101-2015 and Assembly A7431-2015-Fixing Lauen’s Law
The bill was delivered to the New York State Governor.
In order to help urge the governor to sign the bill, we are writing to:
Acting Counsel to the Governor
Albany, New York 12224
LI TRIO was represented at meetings with New York State Legislators and the bill we discussed at our LI TRIO meeting has been properly amended.
The purpose of these two bills is to ensure that when people are applying for a New York State drivers license they complete the section of the application relating to making an anatomical gift which requires them to check either “yes” or “skip this question”.
With special thanks to our friends and members of Long Island TRIO and others who worked on sending letters, writing emails and placing phone calls to our elected officials in New York State. Thanks also to Senator Kemp Hannnon, NYAD, TSO and LiveOnNY.
The bill passed when voted on in both the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly.
There was a huge problem with implementation. Now, Section 1 amends section 4310 of the Public Health Law to remove language which allows an application for a driver’s license to be processed even if neither the “yes” or “skip this question” box is checked in the section relating to signing up as a organ donor.
In 2012, Lauren’s Law was named after our friend and LI TRIO member Lauren Shields whose life was saved by a heart transplant. The law passed with the intent to require driver license applicants to actively choose whether they would like to become a registered organ, eye and tissue donor on the New York State Donate Life Registry. However, because the statute (and text on the DMV form) did not invalidate an application that left the organ and tissue donation section blank, it has not resulted in as much of a change in the administrative processes at the Department of Motor Vehicles as had been hoped.
This bill fixes this crucial situation where the intent of the law was not implemented properly. This act will take effect immediately. In other words, after Lauren’s law was passed in the Senate and in the Assembly, signed by the governor and subsequently implemented, there was still a paragraph that stated that the application would not be considered invalid (and not returned to be fixed) if the question regarding organ donation was left blank.
These bills fix the implementation of Lauren’s Law with amendments to public health law and the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to registration of consent to make an anatomical gift.
The Senate bill was sponsored by Senator Hannon with co-sponsors as follows: Senators Carlucci, Gallican and Latimer.
The Assembly version of this bill was referred to the Health committee on 12 May, 2015 while we were in the New York State Assembly. The bill was sponsored by Assemblyman Ortiz with the following co-sponsors: Assemblymans Palmesano, Jaffee, McDonald and Galef. We thank NYAD for their work on this issue.