State Capital Briefs (Evening Edition): Thursday, February 23
The News Service of Florida
A powerful senator Thursday proposed a bill that would allow optometrists to perform surgical procedures, rekindling a long-running political battle between optometrists and ophthalmologists. Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, filed the bill (SB 1168) for consideration during the legislative session that starts March 7. Optometrists and ophthalmologists have repeatedly fought about what procedures optometrists should be allowed to perform --- an issue known as "scope of practice." Optometrists won a victory in 2013 when the Legislature approved allowing them to prescribe oral medications. But ophthalmologists have argued that optometrists do not have the same level of training as ophthalmologists.