Gov. Andrew Cuomo late Wednesday signed a bill aimed at boosting the state’s organ-donor rolls—a measure named after a Rockland County 12-year-old.
Lauren’s Law will require driver’s license applicants over the age of 18 to answer whether they would like to join the state’s donor list. Currently, the applicants aren’t required to answer the question.
The new law is named in honor of Lauren Shields, a 12-year-old Stony Point girl who survived a heart transplant in 2009. Lauren made multiple trips to the state Capitol in the past two years to try to persuade lawmakers to support the measure.
“It will save thousands of lives in New York,” Lauren said in a statement put out by the Governor’s Office and obtained by The Journal News Albany Bureau. “I vow to continue to share my story in hopes of inspiring people so they choose yes to saving lives.”
An official announcement of the bill signing is expected Thursday.
State lawmakers passed the bill earlier this year after it had stalled in 2011, largely over disagreements on language. A compromise was reached in June, and the law allows license applicants to answer “yes” or “skip this question.” A previous version of the bill had required either “yes,” “no” or “not at this time.”
(Photo by Mareesa Nicosia/The Journal News)