IMG 2882Senators James F. Clayborne (D-Belleville) and Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) joined Secretary of State Jesse White today in announcing 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.

 “I am happy to be advocating for this legislation,” said Clayborne who is a kidney recipient.. “Organ donation is very important in helping to save lives. This legislation will help to shorten the list and get much needed donations to people whose lives depend on them.”

Under current law, an individual must be at least 18 to join the registry. Those who join the registry will receive a letter from the Secretary of State’s office thanking them for joining. White encourages 16- and 17-year-olds to use this letter as a basis for discussing their decision with their parents.

Senator Hunter, who is carrying the legislation in the Senate, said she is proud to help work to end the uncertainty for thousands across the state who are waiting for a donation.

“Choosing to give life to another is a wonderful gift,” Hunter said. 

By joining the First Person Consent Organ/Tissue Donor Registry, 16- and 17-year-olds will be giving consent to donate their organs and tissue at the time of their death, with a single limitation. The procurement organizations, Gift of Hope Organ and Tissue Network and Mid-America Transplant, must make a reasonable effort to contact a parent or guardian to ensure that they approve of the donation. The parent or guardian will have the opportunity to overturn the child’s decision. Once the 16- or 17-year-old turns 18, his/her decision would be considered legally binding without limitation.

“Our goal is always to save lives,” White said. “Thousands of Illinoisans are waiting for an organ. Many of those who wait are someone’s mother, father, daughter or son. This legislation, which the vast majority of other states have implemented, is an important step in reducing the number of those on the waiting list.”

Approximately 4,700 people are on the waiting list and about 300 people die each year waiting for an organ transplant. One person can improve the quality of life for up to 25 people. Currently, 6.1 million Illinoisans are registered with the state’s registry.

Illinoisans can register with the Secretary of State’s Organ/Tissue Donor Registry at, by calling 1-800-210-2106 or visiting their local Driver Services facility.

state of stateState Senator James Clayborne (D-Belleville) released the following statement following Gov. Bruce Rauner’s State of the State address:

“This is the third State of the State address the governor has given with no budget, and I have yet to hear any real solutions. There are places like the Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House that were forced to lay off 117 social service workers due to this impasse. We have seniors who lack access to appropriate care, our after-school programs are lacking stable funding and services for the disabled remain underfunded. It is time to get to work and fix our state’s most pressing issues. We have a plan in the Senate, and it is my hope the governor will work with us on this.”

ClayborneA measure that will bring more funding to the Mascoutah Community Unit School District sponsored by State Senator James Clayborne (D- East St. Louis) has become law.

The measure allows the school district access to $4 million in federal funding per year.

“We need to ensure our schools are adequately funded,” Clayborne said. “Many people throughout Mascoutah rely on the schools that are on Scott Air Force Base and it is important those schools receive the resources needed to ensure their kids receive a good education.”

Currently, schools that are on federally owned property, such as Scott Elementary School, do not receive portions of property tax revenue for their funding. Under this new law the district has more flexibility in its tax levy so it can receive a Federal Impact Grant.

The Federal Impact Grant is distributed to school districts that have lost property tax revenue due to tax-exempt federal property. In this case, schools on Scott Air Force Base.



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