Norris Encourages Public to Register as Organ Donors

10% of the nation’s transplant waiting list is made up of New Yorkers

Assemblyman Mike Norris (R,C-Lockport) joined a bipartisan coalition of Assembly members, led by Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano, today at the state Capitol for a public awareness event to inspire more people to register as organ donors. Norris has been a longtime champion for this cause and is a registered organ donor himself.

“When we hear that April is National Donate Life Month, we may forget the stories and the lives behind the staggering statistics,” said Norris. “New York State ranks 49th in the nation for organ donation with 10,000 of our fellow New Yorkers waiting right now—these are someone’s mother, someone’s best man, someone’s brother, a child, a veteran. Behind every one of those 10,000 is a story and a family, and I hope people will consider signing up. It’s a simple process that just takes a minute to do. You never know when your life is going to change, but your gift could save the lives of many other people.”

According to state data in 2015, more than 800 New Yorkers waiting for transplants died or became too sick to receive a transplant while on the list. Norris said this is a tragedy, and the state can do better. For years, he has been working to increase awareness of the New York State Donate Life Registry and to make it easier for people to sign up and to go through the process. He has helped to pass legislation to:

  • Establish the “New York State Living Donor Support Program” (Chapter 814 of 2022);
  • Expand eligibility for individuals under the New York State Living Donor Support Program (Chapter 66 of 2023);
  • Provide more opportunities for people to register for the New York State Donate Life Registry by requiring the option to be available on electronic transactions through the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, college financial aid transactions through the Higher Education Service Corporation, tax documents, and when applying for sporting, hunting, trapping or fishing licenses (Chapter 743 of 2021 and Chapter 146 of 2020); and
  • Enact the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act to align New York state’s laws with those of the majority of the nation, most notably as related to circumstances when biologically incompatible living organ donors agree to donate to the other person’s desired recipient as well as adding grandparents to the list of individuals who may make an anatomical gift of the decedent’s body (Chapter 742 of 2019).

Assemblyman Norris encourages all New Yorkers aged 16 years old or older to register on the New York State Donate Life Registry. No one is too old to donate. This registry includes organs, eyes and tissues. You can specify which organs and/or tissues you want to donate and for what purpose. To enroll or learn more, please go to the Donate for Life Registry Online: