SB 314

85(R) - 2017
Senate Health & Human Services
House Public Health
Senate Health & Human Services
House Public Health
Boards & Commissions
Health & Human Services

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral


Charles Schwertner


Dan Flynn

Bill Caption

Relating to the continuation and functions of the Texas Optometry Board; authorizing a reduction in fees.

Fiscal Notes

From the LBB: Estimated Two-year Net Impact to General Revenue Related Funds for SB314, As Introduced: an impact of $0 through the biennium ending August 31, 2019.

Bill Analysis

This bill would extend the sunset provision of the Texas Optometry Boards to 2029 and require the executive director of the board to create a training manual and distribute it to each board member annually. The bill clarifies that each complaint, adverse report, investigation file, and investigation report is confidential and that the board will protect the identity of the complainant to the extent possible. The board would be prohibited from accepting anonymous complaints. If the complainant is an insurance or pharmaceutical company, the board would be required to notify the license holder of the name and address of the insurance or pharmaceutical company who filed the complaint not later than 15 days after it was filed.

Under this bill an applicant for a license or renewal would be required to submit a full set of fingerprints for a background check and the board would be required to review at least one national practitioner database to determine whether another state has taken disciplinary action towards an applicant or license holder.  A license under the bill would be valid for one to two years as determined by the board. This is a change from the current annual renewal regime.

Additionally, bill would allow the board to request a license holder to submit to a mental or physical evaluation with probable cause. The bill also establishes requirements regarding a license holder’s rights in relation to complaints made against them.

Finally, this legislation would authorize a reduction in fees to obtain or renew an optometry license.

Vote Recommendation Notes

We opposed this legislation in the Senate. Some of the provisions which formed the basis for our opposition were removed by floor amendment in the Senate. We have revised our position to neutral as the bill now contains some liberty enhancing provisions (reduction in fees and extended term of licenses) and some liberty infringing provisions (fingerprint-based background checks). The net effect of this bill is to reduce some regulations while imposing new ones so in our view it is a wash in terms of net regulations on this profession. 

Organizations Supporting

Association of Fire & Casualty Companies in Texas (Afact)