A bill named after a 12-year-old Rockland County girl who survived a heart transplant was signed Wednesday by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in hopes to drive up the state's organ donor numbers.

"I'm extremely excited," said Sen. David Carlucci (D-Rockland), who drafted "Lauren's Law" and spearheaded its progress."Lauren and I have been working hard on this with so many other advocates for the past two years and it really shows the persistence that Lauren has had."

The law's inspiration came from Lauren Shields, of Stony Point, who began experiencing heart failure at age 9. She received her donated heart just days before she was set to be taken off life support.

Lauren was dozing off in bed Wednesday night when her mom, Jeanne Shields, came running in.

"She played me a voice mail that Sen. Carlucci had left on her phone," Lauren explained. "When I heard it was signed, I was overjoyed with what I'd heard. I went to sleep with some very good news."

Under Lauren's Law, a person applying for a New York State driver's license or learner's permit will be asked, "Would you like to be added to the Donate Life registry?" They have the options of checking "yes" or "skip this question."

The law will go into effect Oct. 3, 2013. Currently, applicants are not required to answer the question.

Carlucci said the number of donors in New York has been far too low for too long.

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