26 October, 2015-Success–New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo Signed Amendment To Lauren’s Law (Chapter 405)

Published on October 26, 2015

UPDATE: Governor Cuomo Signed The Bill Into Law

Senate- S5101and Assembly A7431 passed in both chambers and was delivered to Governor Cuomo It came down to the wire and Governor Cuomo provided his signature.

The bill was delivered to the New York State Governor. In order to help urge the governor to sign the bill, we visited, sent letters and our written correspondence and phone calls were truly heard.

The original amendment to bills- Senate- S5101-2015 and Assembly A7431-2015-Fixing Lauren’s Law passed while we visited the New York State Senate and Assembly.

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 purpose of the bill 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”.

Senate- S5101-2015 and Assembly A7431-2015-Fixing Lauen’s Law

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.

The bill fixes 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. June 18, 2015 was a very productive day with the bill passing with votes in both the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly. -Mike Sosna

Our recent call to action:

The bill was delivered to the New York State Governor.

In order to help urge the governor to sign the bill, we wrote to

Alphonso David
Acting Counsel to the Governor
Executive Chamber
State Capitol
Albany, New York 12224

Sample letter:from-recipient-ammendment-laurens-law-2015

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 New York State Senate illustrated this bill's progress. It was delivered to the Governor's office today.


The bill passed when voted on in both the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly.


Jun 18, 2015: passed assembly
Jun 18, 2015: ordered to third reading rules cal.669
Jun 18, 2015: substituted for a7431a
Jun 18, 2015: referred to codes
Jun 18, 2015: PASSED SENATE

Update: The bill was delivered to the New York State Governor.

UPDATE: October 26, 2015 -Governor Cuomo Signed The Bill Into Law