Idaho State Board of Optometry
Bureau of Occupational Licenses
1109 Main Street, Suite 220
Boise, Idaho 83702-5642
(208) 334-3233

Minutes of October 24, 2002


In the absence of Dr. Dean, and having a quorum, Dr. Scott Taylor called the meeting to order Thursday, October 24, 2002, at 4:30 a.m. at the Coeur díAlene Resort, Cabin 5, Coeur díAlene, Idaho. 

Board Members Present:   Dr. Scott Taylor; Dr. Gary Walker; Dr. Steve Snapp; Dr. John Rietz; Dr. James Dean, Chairman (joined the meeting late)                         

Bureau Staff:                     Budd Hetrick, Jr., Deputy Bureau Chief                              

Also Present:                     Larry Downar, past Board member; Larry Benton, IOA Executive Director; Randy Lee, past Board member.



Moved by Dr. Snapp, seconded by Dr. Rietz and carried that the minutes of August 9, 2002 be approved. 

Financial Report 

Mr. Hetrick presented the financial reports to the Board and there was discussion. At the end of September the Bureau account had a negative balance of $3,657.25, and the Special Account had a balance of $66,383.77. 

Moved by Dr. Snapp, second by Dr. Walker and carried that the Board authorizes the transfer of $5,000 from the special account to the Bureau account to bring that account into a positive balance.  

Moved by Dr. Rietz, second by Dr. Walker and carried to approve financial report. 

Idaho Optometry Association Issues 

The Board recognized Larry Benton for the purpose of advising the Board of any IOA issues.  Mr. Benton advised that the IOA Board has discussed the mail-order contact issue and has conducted some research on the issue.  He asked if it would be possible for the Board and the IOA Board to meet and discuss a possible course of action to resolve the issue. The Board discussed scheduling a joint meeting of the two Boards.  

Mr. Benton also advised the Board of a problem with the current rules concerning endorsement. There is national objection to the rule that requires endorsement applicants to pass of the TMOD exam in order to obtain licensure by endorsement. The Board discussed the issue and agreed to begin work on deleting the TMOD exam requirement to make the endorsement provision more equitable with other states. 


New Renewal Date 

Larry Downar advised the Board of his opposition to the legislation concerning the change in renewal dates.  Mr. Downar felt the language concerning licenses should be contained in Optometry law rather than having only a reference to the Bureau law.  Mr. Downar said that such references add confusion to the law and make it more difficult to determine the requirements when more than one section of the law is used to address an issue.  Mr. Downar also advised that all renewal language should be contained within Optometry law to insure that the Board maintains its independence from the Bureau. He noted that, should the Board decide in the future to move out of the Bureau, it would then be necessary to draft such language for the optometry law.  

Mr. Benton expressed his concern with opening the optometry law for revisions without having a well-formulated plan to fight unwanted attempts to amend the law or deregulate the profession.  He advised that there are those who take such opportunities to attack the profession. 

Mr. Hetrick explained that this legislation would be in the form of an omnibus bill, and would include identical amendments to all of the laws currently administered by the Bureau.  He also noted that each of the Boards, including the Optometry Board, had been advised of the Bureauís desire to pursue such legislation and each had approved the idea.  Mr. Hetrick noted that the legislation has been drafted, approved by both the Division of Financial Management and the Governorís Office, and is very close to being in RS form.  At this stage, it would be practically impossible for the Bureau to revise the legislation. 

The Board agreed to support the legislation, but expressed their concern that this bill may raise red flags with the legislature and asked to be appraised immediately of any problems or undue attention regarding the proposal.  The Board will consider adding the necessary language to the optometry law at a later date.


Special Account 

The Board then discussed Mr. Hetrickís memo regarding the Optometry special fund account. Mr. Hetrick noted that based purely on a financial review, the cost of maintaining the special account was relatively small (approximately $2,740).  He noted that, in his opinion, the impact on Bureau and State personnel and resources to maintain and deal with the special account were more relevant issues to consider.  Mr. Hetrick advised that the special account did not provide the Board with any options, abilities, or control that the Board would not have without the special account. 

Mr. Downar and Mr. Lee expressed their opposition to deleting the special account, noting that the Boards of Medicine, Nursing, Dentistry, and Veterinary Medicine all had similar language in their laws.  They also noted that, should the Board ever decide to move out of the Bureau, such language would have to be included in the law.  Both noted that others states have had problems with such attempts to remove a Boardís independence and create ďSuper Bureauís.Ē 

Mr. Hetrick noted that the Board was mandated with powers that the Bureau could not, and had no intention of, usurping. He noted that the Board has complete and total authority and control over the licensing and regulation of optometrists, and the Boardís independence in that regard is absolute. The Board has contracted with the Bureau to provide administrative, investigative, legal, and fiscal services for the Board. It is the Bureauís intent to provide those services in the most efficient and cost effective manner possible, and the maintenance of the special account does nothing to promote the mandate of the Board or the goal of the Bureau. 

The issue of opening the Optometry law for this purpose, and the perceived danger of doing so, was again discussed.  Mr. Hetrick advised that, in his opinion, any danger regarding this issue was minimal. 

Mr. Downar and Mr. Lee expressed their concern that input from the association had not been sought regarding the renewal date proposal and the special account proposal.  They noted that it would be unfortunate to have the association appear before the legislature in opposition to the Board, because they had not been consulted.  Mr. Lee noted that the Board and the association should work together more closely to accomplish the needs of the profession. 

Mr. Hetrick advised that, though a good relationship between the groups is preferable, it might not always be possible. The mandate of the Board, regarding the protection of the health, safety, and welfare of the public, and the associationís focus on the promotion of the profession may at times be at odds.  These two matters are administrative in nature and do nothing to lessen or compromise the mandate, authority, or independence of the Board. 

Dr Taylor moved & Dr. Snapp seconded that the Bureau be advised not to proceed with the legislation to delete the special account. Dr. Walker voted No, and the motion passed.


Time and Place of Next Meeting 

The Board tentatively scheduled their next meeting at 2:00 pm on February 7, 2003. 


Moved by Dr. Walker to adjourn meting, seconded by Dr. Taylor and carried.

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Last Modified - May 23, 2006