FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 26, 2023
AUSTIN – SB 1249, legislation by Sen. Kelly Hancock (R-Fort Worth) to establish a Living Donor Registry Education Program in Texas, today unanimously passed the House Public Health Committee on its next step toward becoming law. This 11-0 vote held particular significance as it took place during the final days of April, which is National Donate Life Month, an awareness month for organ donation and registration.
The proposed Department of State Health Services (DSHS) program would educate Texans about the option of registering as a living organ donor through the National Donate Life Living Donor Registry, which completed its pilot phase in 2021 in Texas and is under development for nationwide expansion.
“As a kidney recipient myself, this bill is personal to me and the more than 10,000 Texans who are currently on the transplant waitlist,” said Sen. Hancock. “I appreciate Dr. Tom Oliverson for authoring the House companion legislation and Chair Stephanie Klick for providing a timely hearing and vote. It’s my hope and expectation that this bill will help save lives.”
An astounding 85 percent of the need for organ donation is attributed to kidneys and could be met by living donors willing to donate one kidney. Another 11 percent are awaiting a liver transplant, which can also be provided by living donors who give a portion of their liver. Both kidneys and livers are generally able to compensate for the donated organ or segment without a significant long-term impact on the health of the donor.
Hancock, who currently serves as President Pro Tempore of the Texas Senate, will be recognized as “Governor for a Day” this Saturday and will formally designate April 29, 2023 as Donate Life Day in Texas during an Oath of Office Ceremony in Austin.
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Having passed committee unanimously, SB 1249 is now eligible for final passage on Local & Consent. The bill previously passed the Texas Senate unanimously on April 6.
To follow the progress of the bill, visit Texas Legislature Online. For more information on living organ donation, please visit https://donatelife.net/donation/donor-registries/living-donor-registry/.