Happy 2019 everyone!
It’s time for an update on our legislative work to retain our licenses to practice Opticianry in Virginia. While it seems pretty quiet, it really isn’t. Members of the legislative group and our lobbyist have continued to meet with members of JLARC during the holidays. So far, everything has been moving in a positive direction. However, we’re not out of the woods yet.
As you all know, we passed the deadline for pre-filing bills with no specific reference to deregulation and that is a very positive thing. The next deadline is on January 9. All pre-filed bills must be introduced by 10AM on that date. We will be watching that very closely to ensure that nothing affecting our profession appears.
Following that date, the legislative group will meet again with our lobbyists to determine our next steps, focusing on the possibility of deregulation language being added to currently introduced bills. That possibility is real and continues to be our focus.
Why have we been so quiet? Well, many discussions regarding legislation are carried on quietly. No flag-waving. No marches. No protests. We are keeping the communication channels open, courteous and friendly.
What should you as Licensed Opticians do? Stay focused on representing your profession to your patients and to your employers. Talk about why your license is important and your place in the healthcare industry.
We must remain a united front. We must continue to grow our membership and support within the community at large.
This will not be the only time we encounter this threat. As the industry changes, more challenges will arise and OAV needs to be ready to meet them when they do.
Please look for another update following our next meeting with our lobbyists.
Judy Canty, LDO
President, Opticians Association of Virginia