Petrarca: Bill to protect organ and tissue donation fund passes House

HARRISBURG, Nov. 19 – A bill authored by state Rep. Joseph Petrarca to ensure the stability of the state’s fund to promote organ and tissue donation passed unanimously in the House today.

Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, said H.B. 30 addresses an oversight in the Senate bill that created Act 90 of 2018. That act had increased the voluntary contribution amount to the Robert F. Casey Memorial Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Trust Fund from $1 to $3. This voluntary checkoff is included on driver’s license and vehicle registration forms. Petrarca said his measure was needed because the act didn’t consider changes that were made to the state’s Vehicle Code which allows for biennial vehicle registrations.

“Our state has been a leader in educating residents and promoting the importance of organ and tissue donation, but with the fund’s financial challenges in recent years, it was necessary to increase the voluntary checkoff contribution in order to stabilize this valuable fund for years to come,” Petrarca said.

His bill allows for an organ donation contribution of $6 on the two-year vehicle registration option -- $3 for each year of the registration.

The fund also pays for the funeral expenses of donors and provides grants toward the development and implementation of programs to encourage organ and tissue donation.

House Bill 30 now heads to the governor for further action.