Senate Bill 110, which would allow optometrists to perform some uncomplicated medical procedures currently reserved for ophthalmologists, officially becomes law on Wednesday, June 8.
The new law will allow optometrists to perform a variety of simple procedures, like removing non-malignant skin tags from eyelids or clearing lenses implanted by ophthalmologists in cataract surgeries. It would not, however, allow optometrists to perform LASIK surgery, which is used to correct poor vision.
This is one of many laws that went into affect Wednesday.
Under the state constitution, most new laws take effect 90 days after the end of the legislative session. Laws passed during the 2011 Regular Session, which ended March 9, will become effective June 8, except for those with emergency clauses or with specific effective dates contained within the bills themselves.
Some of the notable pieces of legislation that took effect on June 8 included the following:
• Courts: SB 108 increases the jurisdiction of district courts in civil cases from $4,000 to $5,000 and the jurisdiction of small claims courts from $1,500 to $2,500.
• Education: HB 425 allows out-of-state veterans to qualify for in-state tuition at public colleges and universities.
• Firearms: HB 308 establishes a program for people who have been banned from purchasing a firearm due to mental illness to recover that right.
• Flu shots: SB 40 allows pharmacists to give flu shots to children ages 9-13.
• Occupational and physical therapy: SB 112 limits health insurance co-pays on occupational and physical therapy sessions to no higher than that of regular doctor’s visits.
• Prescriptions: HB 311 allows Schedule II prescriptions, including oxycodone and hydrocodone, to be transmitted electronically or by fax. In addition to Schedule III-V drugs.
• Principals: SB 12 authorized local school superintendents to appoint principals after consultation with the school-based decision making council, a reversal of the current procedure.
• School board elections: HB 228 increases the campaign contribution limits for school board candidates to $200 for individuals and $1,000 for organizations.
• Traffic laws. HB 289 adds fines for driving over the 70 miles-per-hour speed limit and clarifies that vehicle-integrated GPS units are exempt from the state’s ban on texting or using other communications devices while driving.
• Voter registration. HB 192 requires high schools to provide seniors information on how to register to vote and related information.
• Wellness programs. SB 114 allows private health insurance plans to offer incentives and awards for wellness programs.