Organ donor bills get final OKSenators approve decals for license plates, online plan.
By: Bob Mercer, Republic Capitol Bureau
PIERRE — Organ and tissue donation will get a higher public profile in South Dakota.
State senators gave final legislative approval Tuesday to two measures intended to provide more publicity for organ donation and to make registration easier for citizens.
Both bills now head to Gov. Dennis Daugaard for his signatures to become law. He has made more public participation in organ and tissue donation a priority for his administration.
HB 1162 would allow for special decals recognizing organ donors on license plates. People who support organ donation could show their support, said Sen. Tim Rave, R-Baltic.
He said it would be similar to other specialty plates. Senators voted 33-2 for final passage. Its prime sponsor was House Republican leader David Lust of Rapid City.
The other measure that was approved Tuesday, HB 1217, would require the Department of Public Safety to establish an online registry for people to use.
The measure came from the governor. It also formally requires the department to distribute information in a variety of ways.
“It’s important to note that much of this is already being done,” said Sen. Larry Rhoden, R-Union Center.
Senators voted 35-0 in favor.
Rhoden said he’s personally come “full circle” on the issue in the past decade. He said his brother’s life was extended through organ donation, while his wife’s brother was an organ donor.