"An Act extending the termination date and duties for the Board of Examiners in Optometry; amending the licensing, endorsement, and renewal provisions for optometrists; and providing for an effective date. "
Legislative Audit concluded that the Board of Examiners in Optometry (BEO) continues to serve a public need and is operating in the public interest. The regulation and licensing of qualified optometrists is necessary to protect the public's health, safety and welfare. Further, the BEO has operated effectively, adopted regulatory changes and supported legislation that improved its oversight process and promoted more effective regulation of licensed optometrists. Accordingly, SB 255 extends the sunset date for the BEO to June 30, 2014 for an eight-year extension.
Legislative Audit also recommended that the Legislature amend the optometry statutes to ensure they support current license endorsements for the diagnostic use of pharmaceutical agents. Currently, statutory language provides for a single endorsement for both prescribe and use. However, the BEO is issuing two types of endorsements. The first allows a practitioner to both prescribe and use pharmaceutical agents and the second type of endorsement allows a practitioner "use" only. Current law does not authorize the use only endorsement. SB 255 corrects this situation by adding a section authorizing a use only endorsement and also "grandfathers" in the practitioners that were given that endorsement over the years.
Finally, this audit was conducted under revisions made last session to the sunset process. The standard sunset period for occupational boards and non-occupational boards was changed from "not to exceed four years" to "not to exceed eight years". Additionally, to better measure operational performance, two new criteria were added to statute that must be considered in the course of a sunset review by the auditors:
The extent to which the board, commission, or agency has effectively attained its objectives and the efficiency with which it has operated.
The extent to which the board, commission, or agency duplicates the activities of another governmental agency or the private sector.