BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                             Senator Ricardo Lara, Chair
                            2015 - 2016  Regular  Session

          AB 684 (Alejo) - Healing arts:  licensees:  disciplinary actions
          
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |                                                                 |
          |                                                                 |
          |                                                                 |
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |--------------------------------+--------------------------------|
          |                                |                                |
          |Version: June 30, 2015          |Policy Vote: B., P. & E.D. 7 -  |
          |                                |          0                     |
          |                                |                                |
          |--------------------------------+--------------------------------|
          |                                |                                |
          |Urgency: Yes                    |Mandate: No                     |
          |                                |                                |
          |--------------------------------+--------------------------------|
          |                                |                                |
          |Hearing Date: August 24, 2015   |Consultant: Brendan McCarthy    |
          |                                |                                |
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          
          This bill does not meet the criteria for referral to the  
          Suspense File.


          Bill  
          Summary:  AB 684 would prohibit the enforcement of an existing  
          prohibition on financial relationships between licensed  
          optometrists and dispensing opticians until January 1, 2017.


          Fiscal  
          Impact:  No significant fiscal impact is anticipated by the  
          Medical Board or the State Board of Optometry.


          Background:  Current law generally prohibits financial relationships  
          between licensed optometrists and dispensing opticians (which  
          can be an individual or a corporation that fills prescription  
          lenses). While this prohibition has existing in law for decades,  
          it has been subject to ongoing legal challenges. In practice,  
          those prohibited financial relationships have existed while  
          state law was under challenge. For example, one-stop shop chains  
          for eyeglasses have either employed optometrists directly or  







          AB 684 (Alejo)                                         Page 1 of  
          ?
          
          
          contracted with optometrists to provide co-located space. Those  
          opticians fill resulting prescriptions on site. Recently, the  
          federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld state law in this  
          area.


          Proposed Law:  
            AB 684 would prohibit the enforcement of an existing  
          prohibition on financial relationships between licensed  
          optometrists and dispensing opticians until January 1, 2017.
          The bill's provisions would only provide protection from  
          enforcement for business relationships that existed before  
          enactment of the bill.


          This bill is an urgency measure.




          Related  
          Legislation:  AB 595 (Alejo) would authorize in law existing  
          business models under which a registered dispensing optician is  
          located next to an optometrist. That bill is pending in the  
          Assembly Business and Professions Committee.


                                      -- END --