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Kidney Advocates Drive State Legislative Wins in 2023

June 08, 2023, 3:47pm EDT

June Monroe and Kevin Longino standing in front of Voices for Kidney Health Banner

When the Nevada state legislature unanimously passed Living Donor Protection Act (LDPA) legislation in early May, Voices for Kidney Health advocate June Monroe had multiple reasons to celebrate. In addition to seeing a bill passed that she had long advocated for, June celebrated her father’s 84th birthday. Like June, her father had previously decided to give the gift of life, donating a kidney to his son. Now June and her father, like kidney donors in 29 other states, could find comfort in the fact that they would not be discriminated against when seeking life, long-term, or disability insurance due to their kidney donation. 

Ask Congress to pass a federal version of the LDPA. Together, we can protect donors and promote more living organ donation nationwide. 

Nevada is just one of several states that passed pro-kidney health legislation in 2023, with more poised to follow. Here are a few more big wins for Voices for Kidney Health advocates.

Protecting living donors in Wyoming

Wyoming passed its version of the LDPA earlier in the spring. Once again, dedicated NKF advocates made the difference. Anne Bina worked closely with her state Representative Kevin O’Hearn to ensure the legislature prioritized the bill. A kidney recipient herself, Anne understands the urgency behind passing legislation like the LDPA and encouraging more people to consider living organ donation. Her hard work helped get the bill to the governor’s desk and signed into law.

See if your state supports kidney health policies.

Educating Texans about kidney transplantation

In Texas, the state legislature followed up on passing its own LDPA in 2021 by passing legislation this year that will help educate the public about becoming a living organ donor. This bill was introduced and championed by state Senator Kelly Hancock. He received a lifesaving transplant from his son-in-law last year after fighting a rare genetic kidney disease. In addition to asking Texans if they want to donate their organs upon their death when getting a driver’s license, Hancock’s legislation requires state offices to post information on living donor registration both in-person and online. These steps benefit the more than 8,000 Texans waiting to receive a kidney. 

Learn more about our Big Ask, Big Give program and how you can help get the conversation started around living organ donation.

Increasing donor medical leave in Minnesota 

Starting in 2026, all Minnesotans will have access to up to 12 weeks of family or medical leave during which they will continue to receive compensation from their employer, which is paid for by a budget surplus that the state currently enjoys. This benefit helps individuals who receive a transplant, living organ donors, and those caring for a loved one facing the challenges of kidney disease. 

Quicker kidney transportation in Washington state

In Washington state, lawmakers passed a bill that allows organ transplant vehicles to use lights, sirens, and preemptive signal devices when transporting an emergency organ. It also allows those vehicles to use high-occupancy vehicle lanes. This bill is a bipartisan, common-sense step forward to help Washingtonians on the transplant waitlist. It also helps to support NKF’s Transplants for All initiative. 

Learn more about Transplants for All

What’s next?

While some states have finished their 2023 legislative sessions, others are still ongoing, and NKF staff and advocates are already looking ahead to passing more bills in 2024. If you’d like to help pass kidney legislation in your state and get up-to-date kidney policy information, become a Voices for Kidney Health advocate. Contact NKF staff to learn more about how you can work with your state lawmakers to help the kidney community.

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