What’s happening in the states: July 2021

Welcome to our What’s happening in the states blog series, where we provide monthly legislative updates on what the American Kidney Fund (AKF) is working on across the country to improve the lives of those living with kidney disease and protect living organ donors.

Although many state legislative sessions have already ended for the year, AKF is still working on more than 50 bills in about half of the states in the country. A whopping 44 bills have already been signed into law, and 10 more are currently awaiting governors’ signatures! As we continue to work on the rest of the bills this year, the summer months are pivotal in creating better relationships with lawmakers and educating them about kidney disease issues as we prepare for state legislative sessions in 2022. That’s where we need your help! Now is a great time for you to connect with your state lawmakers to let them know how important it is to you that they pursue policies that would improve the lives of those fighting kidney disease and remove barriers for living organ donors.

Since our last monthly update

Connecticut signed into law protections for living organ donors, joining Texas, Maryland, Kentucky, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Washington earlier this year. Similar bills are still pending in Ohio, North Carolina, Vermont and Michigan. Minnesota has also signed into law another bill to prevent discrimination against organ transplant recipients, joining Texas, Arkansas, Georgia, Wyoming and Oklahoma this year as well. These important laws ensure that people with mental and developmental disabilities do not experience discrimination in their ability to receive an organ transplant.

Connecticut, Colorado and Louisiana signed into law legislation to establish a kidney disease task force in each of their states. Other task force legislation is moving through the state legislatures in Massachusetts and New Jersey. Unfortunately, a task force bill ran out of time in the Oregon State Legislature this session. These bills create state task forces to study kidney disease and prevention opportunities. One of the goals of the task forces is to make policy recommendations to state lawmakers that we hope will result in positive change for people living with kidney disease.

How can you help?

All these bills have a better chance of moving through the legislative process with your help! If you would like to contact your state elected officials about these bills or help with written or live testimony during bill hearings, please reach out to me, Melanie Lendnal, AKF’s senior director of state policy & advocacy, at mlendnal@kidneyfund.org

Posted: | Author: Melanie Lendnal and Lindsay Gill