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Gov. Hickenlooper Signs Bill Extending, Improving Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Fund in Colorado

We are excited to share that Gov. Hickenlooper has signed House Bill 17-1027 into law after it passed unanimously in the Colorado House of Representatives and Senate.

The bill reauthorizes the Emily Keyes – John W. Buckner Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Fund for another decade, which allows applicants for a Colorado driver license, ID card, instruction permit or license renewal to donate $1 or more to the fund, at their discretion. The fund, that supports public education surrounding the lifesaving work of organ and tissue donation and transplantation here in our state, has been in existence for 20 years.

The bill also clarifies the process for becoming an organ and tissue donor in Colorado by stating a donor’s registration remains in effect until revoked by the donor, and does not need to be renewed.

We are proud of this bill’s success, which resulted from terrific bipartisan collaboration for the positive cause of organ and tissue donation.

The Emily Keyes – John W. Buckner Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Fund has had tremendous success in educating residents and its continuation means great things for Coloradans. The fund has already helped to: drive more than seven million organ and tissue donor registrations in the last decade, propel Colorado to the second highest donor registration rate in the country, publish millions of educational materials and host nearly 1,000 community events in the last five years and more.

Additionally, the bill’s clarification about donor registration remaining in effect without the need for renewal will help to increase the number of registered donors in Colorado, which will be a great public health benefit to all.

Finally, we are delighted that the bill added the name of the late Rep. John Buckner, (who represented House District 40 and became a donor after his death,) to the fund. John Buckner’s wife, Rep. Janet Buckner, was also a sponsor of the bill. The fund also bears the name of Emily Maureen Ellen Keyes, a corneal donor who was the tragic victim of the 2006 Platte Canyon High School shooting.