"Legislation creates incentives for businesses who award time off to donors"

SPRINGFIELD – To focus on encouraging more organ donors to step up and save lives, State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Cahokia) has teamed with his colleague State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) on legislation to incentivize businesses who offer paid sick time to any employee who donates an organ or bone marrow.

“As a recipient of a donated organ, I understand first-hand the health challenges faced by the thousands of Illinoisans who are currently waiting for a transplant,” Belt said.

In 2009, Christopher Belt began dialysis due to kidney failure brought on by high blood pressure. Less than a year later, he received a kidney transplant– an operation that would change the course of his life.

The legislation would create the Organ Donation Tax Credit, offering employers a 25 percent credit against their withholding taxes if they provide paid sick time for at least 30 days to an employee as they donate an organ.

“Most of the attention on organ donation is focused on the recipient of the organ – not the donor,” Belt said. “Donors must go through their own set of tests and invasive surgery and must live with post-surgery effects that can often be painful. As a state, we should be making it easier for living donors to transition back into daily life.”

Senate Bill 68 passed the Senate Revenue Committee this afternoon and will head to the Senate floor for further debate.