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Koehler's Organ Donation Bill Heads to the Governor

September 29, 2021
J. Kyle Koehler News

COLUMBUS – The Ohio House Representatives today concurred with Senate amendments made to House Bill 21, which supports raising awareness for the importance of organ donation.

“I’ve worked on this issue for over six years now, and I’m proud to see this bill finally become law,” said Koehler. “Organ donation saves lives every single day, and I’m excited for House Bill 21 to help educate folks before they are faced with the decision to support this vital cause.”

H.B. 21 has three specific aspects:

  • First, it directs the BMV to increase the number of times the deputy registrar asks an individual if they would like to become an organ donor.
  • Second, it increases the amount a person is asked to voluntarily donate from $1 to $2 when they are applying for or renewing their driver’s license.
  • Third, it increases the annual contribution for the “Donate Life” license plate from $5 to $15.

Under H.B. 21, voluntary donations will benefit the Second Chance Trust Fund, a fund established in 1997 that supports various projects through Ohio that raise awareness for the importance of organ, eye and tissue donation. 

When H.B. 21 initially passed the House in March, Koehler shared a personal story about his brother, Kurt, who suffered a major heart attack in January 2013. 

“During this incredible dark time, the one spark of light came when the doctors told us that Kurt had chosen to be an organ donor and was eligible to donate,” Koehler said on the House floor. “We realized that, in death, Kurt could provide hope and life to others. Most people are not aware of their organ donor status and others might be reluctant to register as an organ donor because of misconceptions about what being an organ, eye or tissue donor entails. Kurt changed the lives of other because he made an informed choice.”

The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk for a signature.