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Morrison, Belt measure would incentivize organ donation

morrison belt 032019SPRINGFIELD – A tax credit introduced by State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) and State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Cahokia) that would incentivize businesses which offer paid leave of absences to their employees for donating an organ or bone marrow passed the Senate Revenue Committee this afternoon.

“Last year, 3,402 Illinois residents were candidates for a kidney transplant. By the end of the year, however, only 798 people actually received a transplant. That represents less than a quarter of patients who are on the organ donation waiting list,” Morrison said.

Senate Bill 68 would create the Organ Donation Tax Credit, allowing private employees to take a 25 percent credit against their withholding taxes if they offer employees who donate an organ paid sick time for at least 30 days.

“As a recipient of a donated organ, I understand first-hand the health challenges faced by the thousands of Illinoisans who are currently waiting for a transplant,” Belt said.

In 2009, Christopher Belt began dialysis due to kidney failure brought on by high blood pressure. Less than a year later, he received a kidney transplant– an operation that would change the course of his life.

“Most of the attention on organ donation is focused on the recipient of the organ – not the donor,” Belt said. “Donors must go through their own set of tests and invasive surgery and must live with post-surgery effects that can often be painful. As a state, we should be making it easier for living donors to transition back into daily life.”

Incentivizing living donors is key towards ensuring more individuals in need of a transplant receive one.

“As a living donor myself, I know the challenges facing many living donors in Illinois and of the barriers that keep many would-be donors from giving this life saving gift,” said Megan Craig, Director of Programs for the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois. “We know we need to increase the number of living donors in Illinois. We are hopeful all legislators will vote to protect the health and finances of living donors.”

Fourteen other states have passes laws instituting paid leave policies for organ donations. Morrison’s proposal is supported by the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois, the American Kidney Fund and the Gift of Hope Organ and Tissue Donor Network.

Senate Bill 68 passed the Senate Revenue Committee this afternoon and will now head to the Senate floor for further debate.

Sen. Julie Morrison

morrison 150

29th Legislative District

Years served: 2013 - Present

Committee assignments: Agriculture; Environment and Conservation; Human Services (Chairperson); Public Health (Vice-Chairperson); Transportation.

Biography: Born in Beardstown; received a bachelor's degree from Knox College; served as supervisor of West Deerfield Township, married to husband Joe with three grown children.

Associated Representatives:
Jonathan Carroll
Bob Morgan