Caption: State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) discusses her proposal to incentivize organ donation with State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Cahokia), a kidney transplant recipient.

SPRINGFIELD – A tax credit introduced by State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) 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.

Morrison is sponsoring Senate Bill 68, which 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.

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.

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