S.C.R. NO.











WHEREAS, the Legislature's policy regarding the regulation of professions and vocations, as set forth in section 26H-2, Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS), is to regulate only where reasonably necessary to protect the health, safety or welfare of consumers, and not for the purpose of protecting the interests of the regulated profession or vocation; and

WHEREAS, prior to the enactment of Act 279, Session Laws of Hawaii 1994 (Act 279), the Legislative Auditor (Auditor) was required to evaluate every regulatory program at least once every ten years; and

WHEREAS, Act 279 repealed the automatic review requirement, but authorized the Legislature to specifically request an evaluation of a regulatory program; and

WHEREAS, under section 26H-5, HRS, the Auditor's evaluation shall assess whether a regulatory program complies with the State's regulatory licensing policies and whether the public interest requires that the regulatory program be modified, or in the case of a program with a statutory sunset date, reenacted or permitted to expire; and

WHEREAS, the practice of optometry in the State of Hawaii is regulated under chapter 459, HRS; and

WHEREAS, in recent years, the Legislature has considered regulatory issues related to the practice of optometry, including the authorization of prescriptive authority for optometrists; and

WHEREAS, although optometrists have had prescriptive authority since 1999, there continues to exist differences of opinion within the health care profession as to the proper scope of this authority and the need for a joint formulary advisory committee; and

WHEREAS, advances in optometry and the technology to address visual disorders have given rise to other issues related to the proper scope of optometric practice generally; and

WHEREAS, given these recurrent regulatory issues, it would be prudent for the Legislature to have an Auditor's evaluation conducted prior to amending the regulatory program; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Twenty-First Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2002, the House of Representatives concurring, that pursuant to section 26H-5, HRS, the Auditor is requested to conduct an evaluation of the optometry regulatory program established in chapter 459, HRS; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the evaluation assess whether the public interest requires that the regulatory program be modified, including with respect to:

(1) The scope of optometric practice; and

(2) Prescriptive authority for optometrists, more specifically whether the parameters of this authority should continue to be determined by a joint formulary advisory committee, the appropriate educational requirements for therapeutically certified optometrists, and the appropriate safeguards to ensure that consumers are not harmed by the exercise of prescriptive authority;


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Auditor is requested to submit the Auditor's findings and recommendations to the Legislature no later than twenty days before the convening of the Regular Session of 2003; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Auditor, the Director of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, and the Board of Optometry.






Report Title:

Optometry Regulation; Auditor's Evaluation