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Miami senator aims to increase organ donations

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

A Democratic state lawmaker has filed a bill designed to nudge Floridians toward greater participation in the state’s organ donor program.

Miami Sen. Gwen Margolis filed SB 1066 Tuesday, a bill relating to “Anatomical Gifts,” a sincere kind of gift if there ever was one.

Specifically, the bill leads drivers seeking to renew their licenses toward the option of becoming an organ donor.

The bill has both online and a brick-and-mortar components.

For those who re-up their licenses online, the user will be directed toward the site for the state’s organ donation registry during the renewal process.

For new drivers or those otherwise seeking to update their driving status in a physical DMV location, the bill “requires department staff to confirm electronically that each person entering a department office or facility to transact driver’s license services has been informed that he or she may become an organ donor.”

The one-page bill has not yet been referred to committee but will likely go through the Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government and general Appropriations panels, upon which Margolis sits.

Margolis — the subject of speculation regarding the fate of her liberal SD 35 seat in Miami-Dade County — is the Dean of the Senate, or its longest-serving member.

First elected to the state House in 1974, Margolis was the Senate’s first female president from 1990 until 1992.

Ryan Ray writes about campaigns and public policy in Tampa Bay and across the state. A contributor to and before that, The Florida Squeeze, he covers the Legislature as a member of the Florida Capitol Press Corps and has worked as a staffer on several campaigns. He can be reached at

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