Rep. Spohnholz’s July 28th Newsletter: Pragmatic compromise & better eye care for Alaskans

Yesterday, the legislature convened itself in a 3rd special session to pass the capital budget. The legislature passed a bipartisan compromise that uses about $122 million in state unrestricted general funds to obtain about $1.2 billion in federal funds. For every dollar in state funds, we receive $10 from the federal government for a variety of infrastructure and transportation projects.

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NEWS: Governor Signs Bill to Increase Access and Decrease Costs of Eye Care in Alaska

Anchorage – Today, Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed House Bill 103 into law, delegating increased authority over the regulation of optometrists to the Board of Examiners of Optometry. HB 103 was introduced by Representative Ivy Spohnholz (D-Anchorage) and its Senate companion, Senate Bill 36, was introduced by Senator Cathy Giessel (R-Anchorage). The bill passed both the Alaska House of Representatives and Alaska Senate with strong bipartisan support in April and May.

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NEWS: Alaska Legislature Passes Legislation to Ensure Safe Standards for Eye Care

Juneau – Today, the Alaska State Senate joined the Alaska House of Representatives in approving legislation to update state statutes and standards for optometrists and ophthalmologists. House Bill 103, sponsored by Representative Ivy Spohnholz (D-Anchorage), allows the Board of Examiners of Optometry to use their professional expertise to regulate their profession in Alaska similar to how other professions are regulated. Additionally, the bill allows the board to set continuing education requirements for licensees in Alaska.

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NEWS: Optometry & Optometrists Bill Passes Alaska House

Juneau – For over 40 years, optometrists and ophthalmologists have been sparring over statutes that govern eye health care for Alaskans. Today, the Alaska House of Representative passed legislation that updates antiquated statutes regulating licenses of optometry and the Board of Examiners of Optometry. HB 103, sponsored by Representative Ivy Spohnholz (D-Anchorage), seeks to improve and update the statutes that govern the board by allowing them to regulate their standards of practice similar to other boards with prescriptive authority (e.g. dentists, nurses, and doctors). The bill also allows the Board of Examiners of Optometry to set the continuing education requirements for a licensee to continue to practice.

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