ALBANY, NY – The Westchester Guardian / Yonkers Tribune just confirmed that a full vote by the New York State Senate on "Lauren's Law," a bill sponsored by Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland) that would require that drivers answer the question about organ donation when their licenses are processed by the Department of Motor Vehicles, will happen on Wednesday at 11:00 AM.
Lauren Shields, the driving force behind the legislation, is a Stoney Point ten-year-old who had a crippling virus attack her heart pushing her to the brink of death. Eventually, the manifestation of the disease placed Lauren on cardiac arrest and respiratory life support. Only a new heart would allow Lauren to continue life. During those crucial days, a donor was found.
Currently, with driver and non-driver license applicants, a staggering 89 percent ignore the question or choose not to donate.
Only 11 percent choose to pledge their organs placing New York dead last among states that track organ donation applications.
The new law would require applicants to answer "yes" or "not at this time."
Lauren's last visit to the Capitol was on April 6, 2011 and it resulted in exclusive meetings with Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Senate Minority Leader John Sampson. She stopped legislators in hallways, elevators, pulled in staffers when officials were not available, did a few cable and radio show interviews, and held a major press conference.
Lauren's Albany visit helped steer "Lauren's Law" out of the Senate's Standing Committee on Transportation. Lauren and her family will be present for the Senate vote on Wednesday, which happens to be her birthday.
Also, April is National Donate Life month and the Senate is clearly setting an example by taking up a full vote on this bill. The Assembly doesn't have a legitimate reason here to stall, as the bill remains in committee. If so, need I remind the Assembly that Lauren has a new heart and is here for the long haul. Get ready. She'll be heading your way.