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Expanding the Organ Donor Registry passes Senate

hunter org donSPRINGFIELD – With nearly 5,000 people on the Illinois organ donor waiting list, families may soon see a second chance at life for their loved ones thanks to legislation sponsored by State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) that would allow 16- and 17-year-olds to register for the state’s First Person Consent Organ/Tissue Donor Registry when they receive their driver’s license or identification card.

“Choosing to give life to another is a wonderful gift,” Hunter said. “Opening the donor registry will broaden the number of overall donations and save countless lives. For donors, their decision to register can turn a troubling time into a source of comfort for families and individuals in need.”

Under current law, an individual must be at least 18 to join the registry. While this legislation leaves the decision up to teenagers, Senator Hunter and Secretary of State Jesse White encourage youth to discuss their decision with their parents.

This month, Senator Hunter celebrated National Donate Life Month. All around the nation, advocates and organizers are encouraging individuals to register as organ, eye and tissue donors. The campaign has not only been designed to increase the donor registry list, but to also celebrate those that have helped save lives through the gift of donation

By joining the First Person Consent Organ/Tissue Donor Registry, 16- and 17-year-olds can give consent to donate their organs and tissue at the time of their death. However, the procurement organizations, Gift of Hope Organ and Tissue Network and Mid-America Transplant, are required to contact a parent or guardian to ensure approval of the donation. Ultimately, the parent or guardian will have the opportunity to overturn the child’s decision.

Senate Bill 868 passed 56-0 and moves to the Illinois House of Representatives for further debate.

April is Donate Life Month

Donate Life MonthApril is National Donate Life Month. All around the nation, advocates and organizers are encouraging individuals to register as organ, eye and tissue donors. The campaign has not only been designed to increase the donor registry list, but to also celebrate those that have helped save lives through the gift of donation.

This 100th General Assembly, State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) and Secretary of State Jesse White brought forth new legislation that would allow 16- and 17-year-olds to register for the state’s First Person Consent Organ/Tissue Donor Registry when they receive their driver’s license or identification card.

Hunter: Department of Public Health must refocus priorities

State Senator Mattie Hunter SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) criticized the Illinois Department of Public Health on Wednesday for proposing cuts to programs and services that would disproportionately affect minority communities.

The Senate Appropriations I Committee heard testimony Wednesday morning from Nirav Shah, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, on possible budget cuts to reduce the $5 billion gap in Gov. Rauner’s budget.

Sen. Hunter supports the bipartisan budget deal

hunter 022817SPRINGFIELD – Today, State Senator Mattie Hunter and the Illinois Senate voted on pieces of the bipartisan grand bargain, a package of deals to end the budget stalemate.

Many public universities, senior and mental health services, addiction centers, and other programs have gone without state funding since Jan. 1, when the emergency budget deal expired.

“It’s time to better serve our students and residents by replenishing the services that have been taken away due to the financial drought,” Sen. Hunter said. “Today in the Senate, both parties put aside partisan politics and worked to pass reforms that will help the residents and businesses that have been suffering.”

The grand bargain allocates funding to higher education, human services and also introduces various sources that aim to bring revenue to the state. 

The budget deal is designed to ensure funding through the rest of the 2017 fiscal year, which ends June 30.

Sen. Mattie Hunter

Senator Mattie Hunter

3rd District
Majority Caucus Chair


Years served:
2003 - Present (Senate)

Committee assignments: Appropriations I; Energy and Public Utilities; Executive (Chairperson); Human Services; Public Health; Subcommittee on Special Issues (EX) (Sub-Chairperson); Subcommittee on Special Issues (HS); Opioid Crisis Abatement Spec. Com.; Transportation (Vice-Chairperson).

Biography: State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago – 3rd District) has served in the Illinois Senate since 2003. She is Chairperson of the Senate Energy Committee and serves on many other committees like Human Services and Public Health. She is also appointed to serve on the National Conference of State Legislatures Health Committee and is Co-Chair of the Council of State Government Health Policy Task Force.

Associated Representatives:
Sonya M. Harper
Lamont J. Robinson, Jr.