Palmesano: Organ Donor Bill Signed Into Law

January 5, 2023

Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C-Corning) applauds Gov. Hochul for recently signing the ‘New York State Living Donor Support Act’ (S.1594/A.146A of 2021-22) into law. Palmesano is a co-sponsor of the bill that passed the state Assembly and Senate unanimously. The bill will take away barriers to organ donation as it will provide reimbursement to living New York donors for medical and associated expenses for their organ donation. This includes reimbursement for lost wages, sick and vacation days, child care or medical expenses.

This bill becomes law at a time when New York state ranks 50th out of 52 territories on the Donate Life registry. As of October 2022, there were nearly 8,300 New Yorkers on the organ donation waiting list, more than 1,200 of whom have been on the waiting list for more than five years. Tragically, we lost nearly 500 New Yorkers in 2021 waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. Of those New Yorkers on the waiting list, more than 7,000 are awaiting a kidney, which is why the New York State Living Donor Support Act is an important step to address the long waiting list and help save lives.

Palmesano has long made organ donation, which is a very personal issue to him, one of his top legislative priorities. His sister Teresa suffered from juvenile diabetes. She received two organ transplants, one from the kindness of a stranger in 2000, and another from Palmesano himself in 2006 when he donated one of his own kidneys to her. Teresa died in 2013, but Palmesano said she was still blessed. “My sister Teresa was lucky, she received two organ transplants. I didn’t realize how bad the donation numbers were in New York until I was elected to the NYS Assembly in 2010. Although we have made good progress these last 12 years, we still have much more we can do. We can, and we must, do better,” said Palmesano

“I have seen firsthand how organ donation can impact a family and someone’s quality of life,” said Palmesano. “I often cite the statistic that at the time of someone’s death, one donor can save up to eight lives and impact the lives of more than 75 others through organ donation. With this latest bill signed into law by the governor, we are now expanding access and resources to living donors. Our state has an incredibly high demand for organ donors, and I will continue to encourage all who are able, to join the registry and help save a life today.”

Palmesano encourages interested residents to enroll as an organ donor at the following link: https://donatelife.ny.gov/register/