SPRINGFIELDState Senator Christopher Belt (D-Swansea) championed a measure that passed the Senate Wednesday that would give people another option to become an organ donor.

State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Swansea)“In January 2010, I received a kidney transplant,” Belt said. “After living on dialysis for a year, I understand how important organ donors are.”

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House Bill 4696 would allow the Department of Natural Resources to offer online hunting license holders the opportunity to be redirected to the First Person Consent Organ and Tissue Donor Registry. On average, 300 people die each year waiting for an organ donation. More than 4,700 Illinois residents are waiting for an organ or tissue donation. In 2020, there were 7 million Illinoisans registered as organ donors.

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The first-person consent law provides an opportunity to save more lives and ensures that your wish to be an organ/tissue donor is honored. Prior to the first-person consent registry, many Illinoisans who signed the back of their driver's license as a donor were unaware that family consent was still required in order for donation to occur.

“Organ donors save hundreds of life,” Belt said. “This measure would make it easier for individuals who hold hunting license to join the organ registry.”

House Bill 4696 passed the Senate with bipartisan support and heads to the governor’s desk.

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