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Bill to give more options for organ donation awaits governor's signature

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) - A measure to give people another option to become an organ donor has passed the Senate.

State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Swansea) championed the legislation.

“In January 2010, I received a kidney transplant,” Belt said. “After living on dialysis for a year, I understand how important organ donors are.”

Note from NKFI: Listen to Sen. Belt's story on The Journey Continues podcast here.

House Bill 4696 would allow the Department of Natural Resources to offer online hunting license holders the opportunity to be redirected to the First Person Consent Organ and Tissue Donor Registry.

On average, 300 people die each year waiting for an organ donation. More than 4,700 Illinois residents are waiting for an organ or tissue donation. In 2020, there were 7 million Illinoisans registered as organ donors.

Before the first-person consent registry, many Illinoisans who signed the back of their driver's license as a donor were unaware that family consent was still required in order for donation to occur.

“Organ donors save hundreds of life,” Belt said. “This measure would make it easier for individuals who hold hunting license to join the organ registry.”

House Bill 4696 passed the Senate and now heads to the governor’s desk.

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