Organ donor memorial makes it out of state Senate committee

Phil Drake

A bill to create a memorial for organ donors on the Capitol Complex has made it out of a Senate committee, but not without some objection.

House Bill 585, co-sponsored by Rep. Marvin Weatherwax Jr., D-Browning, advanced out of the Senate State Administration Committee on Monday with a 8-2 vote. It will now move to the Senate floor.

The bill would establish a memorial on the east portion of the Capitol Complex for Montana’s organ donors and requires private funding. The bill passed out of the House 68-31 on March 2.

The Capitol Complex Advisory Council at its Dec. 5 meeting, approved the Governor’s Office of Community Service progressing with the proposal to the state Legislature but not allowing any money from the state general fund to be used to pay for it.

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Council members also reviewed Bozeman architect Kenneth J. VanDeWalle’s sketch of the memorial.

The project is estimated to cost $300,000-$400,000.

Patrick Yawakie, representing the Blackfeet Tribe, said the U.S. Health and Resources Administration notes there are 104,234 people on the transplant. He also said 17 people die every day waiting for an organ transplant. 

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