We have received a number of calls from concerned opticians who have discovered the content of some legislation that was introduced by Florida Senator Manny Diaz (SB 1124) on December 4, 2019, and by Florida Representative Paul Renner (HB 707) on November 19, 2019. In Florida, certain statutes are scheduled to “sunset” from time to time, and the statute that regulates are licenses (FS 484, part 1) is scheduled for repeal in July 2023.
The first sentence of the legislation explains its intent: “A bill to be entitled An act relating to legislative review of occupational regulations; creating s. 11.65, F.S.; providing definitions; establishing a schedule for the systematic review of occupational regulatory programs; authorizing the Legislature to take certain actions before the scheduled repeal of an occupational regulatory program; providing that amending or transferring Florida Statutes does not affect a scheduled repeal…”
Below is a link to the senate bill:
Below is a link to the house bill:
Many of you will remember when Jeb Bush became governor in 1999, he began looking for ways to streamline government and de-licensing opticianry was on the list. That’s when opticians and their colleagues mobilized, professional organizations rallied, legislators were “educated,” and when all the dust settled, not only was de-licensing defeated, opticianry laws were strengthened. Most notably, unlicensed optical activity went from being a misdemeanor to a third-degree felony, punishable by up to a $10,000 fine and a year in jail.
Hopefully, this will be the eventual result of this routine legislative event as well. I’ll keep you posted.
Also, the Florida Board of Opticianry held its final meeting of the year on November 15. While many things were discussed at the nearly four-hour meeting, nothing that substantively affects our practice of opticianry was covered. If you are interested, you may access the minutes of the meeting at the link below:
The next Board meeting is scheduled as a teleconference on Friday, January 24, 2020.
I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Anthony Record Optical Seminars
Thanksgiving arrives a bit late this year - Thursday, November 28. It's a time to reflect on things you are grateful for, so here goes:
First, I want to thank the hundreds of opticians who have attended classes with Optical Seminars this year. I was especially grateful for the more than 100 Florida opticians who attended classes with us for the first time. Also, I want to wish the dozens of apprentices and new licensee applicants who are seeking licensure in our state who attended the Initial Laws and Rules and Hands-On Adjusting classes too.
Second, I wish to express thanks that Optical Seminars is adding at least three new instructors to our faculty roster. It had been challenging to find competent and engaging instructors in south Florida, so I had been teaching all the classes myself. I am happy to report that is no longer the case. We have two new, highly motivated instructors who will be presenting classes in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale in 2020. Look for details in our Upcoming Schedule section in January. Additionally, Dr. Linda S. Paey has been presenting classes in the Tampa Bay area and beyond since January 2019. Dr. Paey is not only knowledgeable and experienced in her field, she has also been a member of Toastmasters for more than 10 years. For those of you who don't know, Toatmasters is an organization that exists to only help its members improve their presnetation skills. So, not only do attendees learn during Dr. Paey's four hours of classes, they have fun too! Dr. Paey is currently developing six new hours for the 2021-2022 biennium. and will continue to present her Ask the Doctor and Basics of Refraction hours in 2020.
Third, I am grateful that the National Academy of Opticianry and the Florida Board of Opticianry have reached an agreement that allows apprentices to take off 2,080 hours from their apprenticeship. That is the equivalent of one year! The program is called the Career Progression Proram. For more information, got to nao.org.
Finally, I am grateful for all the wonderful people in my life (especially my two grandchildren Aidan and Ellie), for my family, my colleagues, and all of Optical Seminars' loyal members.
Happy Holidays to you all.