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Bill Analysis

Legislative Service Commission

Sub. H.B. 23
125th General Assembly
(As Reported by H. Commerce and Labor)

Licensure by endorsement
Current law permits the State Board of Optometry (the "Board") to issue a certificate of licensure and a therapeutic pharmaceutical agents certificate to an individual licensed as an optometrist by another state through an alternative procedure that is distinct from the regular procedure used for initial licensure in this state. The Board may use this alternative procedure only if it determines that both of the following are true about the state of licensure:
(1) The other state has standards for the practice of optometry that are at least as stringent as the standards established by Ohio's Optometry Law (R.C. Chapter 4725.);
(2) The other state similarly grants licenses to practice optometry to individuals who hold certificates of licensure issued by the Board.
The bill removes the second condition listed above. Thus, the Board is not required to determine that the other state reciprocates in the licensing of individuals who hold certificates of licensure issued by the Board. The bill specifies that this new procedure is licensure "by endorsement" of the Board. In addition, the bill applies these reciprocity provisions to individuals who are licensed by Canadian provinces. (Sec. 4725.18(A).)
Specific requirements for the licensure in Ohio of an individual licensed by another state
Current law requires that an out-of-state applicant who wishes to receive a certificate and therapeutic pharmaceutical agents certificate in Ohio must meet all of the following conditions:
(1) Hold a license to practice optometry from the other state that is in good standing, evidenced by a submission of a letter from the licensing agency of the other state;
(2) Have been actively engaged in the practice of optometry, including the use of therapeutic pharmaceutical agents, for at least three years immediately preceding making an application;
(3) Pay the application fees for a certificate of licensure and a therapeutic pharmaceutical agents certificate; and
(4) Submit all transcripts, reports, or other information the Board requires.
In addition, under current law, the Board may require the out-of-state applicant to pass all or part of a licensing examination, if the Board determines that it is necessary. (Sec. 4725.18(B).)
The bill modifies the first criteria listed above by adding the requirement that the letter from the licensing agency in the other state or province must indicate passage of a written entry-level examination at the time of initial licensure (sec. 4725.18(B)(1)).
The bill modifies the third criteria listed above by specifying that the application fees are non-refundable (sec. 4725.18(B)(3)).
In addition, the bill adds three criteria that an out-of-state applicant for licensure by endorsement must satisfy. First, the applicant must meet the qualifications for a therapeutic license as specified in the Optometry Law, except for the passage of an examination (sec. 4725.18(B)(6)). Under current law, in addition to passing an examination, the qualifications for a therapeutic license are that the applicant must (1) be at least 18 years of age, (2) be of good moral character, (3) have satisfactorily completed a course of study of at least six college years, and (4) have graduated from a school of optometry approved by the Board (sec. 4725.12, not in the bill).
Second, under the bill, the out-of-state applicant must participate in a two-hour instruction session on Ohio laws or pass an Ohio optometry jurisprudence test. Third, the out-of-state applicant must provide a certified statement from all states and provinces in which the applicant is licensed or has been licensed that reports any past or pending actions against the license of the applicant. The statement must include reports of investigations, suspensions, revocations, and consent agreements by that jurisdiction for any cause that is grounds under the Ohio Optometry Law for revocation, suspension, or refusal to issue a license. (Sec. 4725.18(B)(7) and (8).)
Professional engineer education requirements
Under current law, an applicant for registration as a professional engineer must graduate from an accredited engineering curriculum of four years or more or graduate from a college curriculum in engineering that is not accredited or graduate from a college curriculum in engineering technology that is accredited by the Technical Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.
The bill clarifies that if an applicant meets the educational requirements of graduating from a college curriculum in engineering that is not accredited or from a college curriculum in engineering technology that the curriculum must be for a period of time that is at least four years. (Sec. 4733.11.)

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    Reported, H. Commerce & Labor


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