Sen. Julie A. morrison

SPRINGFIELD – Living organ donors in Illinois would have increased protections under the law under a proposal passed by State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) that was signed into law today by Gov. Pritzker.

“Across Illinois, thousands of residents are awaiting a kidney transplant. Sadly, less than a quarter of patients who were on the organ donation waiting list last year actually received an organ transplant,” Morrison said. “We must do more to incentivize individuals willing to give so much of themselves for the health of another.”

Morrison’s new law – contained in House Bill 2847 – would prohibit insurance companies from refusing to insure or limiting the kind of coverage available needed for care solely because an individual was a living organ donor.

The law also includes protections in the workplace, making it unlawful for an employer to retaliate against an employee for requesting a leave of absence to donate an organ. Lastly, the bill creates an organ and tissue donor registry under the Illinois Secretary of State’s office.

“The signing of this law marks an important day for all kidney patients in this state. We are grateful for living donors who give such an incredible and selfless gift to save the life of others,” said Jacqueline Burgess-Bishop, CEO of the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois. “All living donors deserve at least the level of protection provided for in this law. We are also thankful for the commitment of our advocates, staff and partners to help pass this legislation.”

Earlier this year, Morrison worked with advocates in passing the Organ Donation Tax Credit, allowing private employers to take a credit against withholding taxes if the employer offers the ability of employees to take a paid leave of absence of at least 30 days to donate an organ or bone marrow.

Encouraging living donors is key to ensuring more individuals in need of a transplant receive one, Morrison said.

While that proposal passed the Senate without opposition, the proposal stalled in the Illinois House.

House Bill 2847 was signed into law today and takes effect on January 1, 2020.