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Assembly Approves Bill To Aid Blood Drives

The state Assembly has approved legislation that would allow the state Health Department to make grants to organizations that hold blood drives.

Assemblyman Joe Giglio, R-Gowanda, voted in favor of A.1151 while Assemblyman Andrew Goodell, R-Jamestown, was marked ER for the vote. Only one Assembly member, Michael Montesano, R-Glen Head, voted against the legislation. There was no discussion of the proposal’s merits on the Assembly floor.

The legislation, S.3739, is still in the state Senate’s Health Committee.

It would amend the state Public Health Law to allow the state health commissioner to make grants to non-profits and elementary, secondary and post-secondary schools to help pay costs to hold local blood drives.

“This bill would create a program of grants to help community groups and schools run blood drives,” Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, D-New York City and legislation sponsor wrote in his legislative justification. “When community organizations or schools conduct blood drives, the blood bank generally pays for the cost of the blood collection itself. But the blood banks do not pay for promotional activities such as mailings to an organization’s members, or the cost of the space if this cost exists.”

Similar legislation has been brought up in every legislative session since 2003 and has passed the Assembly eight times. It has been vetoed three times by the governor.

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