Jindal signs optometrists bill, other legislation

Bobby Jindal Show caption
Bobby Jindal

Gov. Bobby Jindal took optometrists’ side on controversial legislation that stirred up the state’s medical community.

Jindal announced Thursday he signed into law House Bill 1065. The bill allows optometrists to increase their workload by performing injections into the eyelid to treat styes and tackling laser procedures that don’t involve anesthetic or stitches.

The legislation caused controversy because it allows optometrists, who are not physicians, to expand their practices. Ophthalmologists are medical doctors; optometrists are not.

Optometrists routinely do eye exams, vision tests, diagnose and treat certain eye abnormalities.

HB1065 was among dozens of bills Jindal announced signing into law from the 2014 regular legislative session. He has now signed 533 bills from the three-month session.

Jason Durham, who calls himself a DADvocate, took to Twitter Thursday night to find out if the governor signed legislation involving Durham’s developmentally disabled daughter, Bailey. Jindal did indeed sign House Bill 185.

Dubbed Bailey’s Law, the bill allows family members to direct health care workers. According to the state Department of Health and Hospitals, the bill also allows the disabled to “hire an individual of their choice to provide in-home support rather than going through a specific provider agency to access care.”

A prohibition against talking on a cellphone during posted school zone hours now is state law. However, there’s a catch. The $175 maximum fine for a first-time violation of House Bill 370 only would take effect if school districts put up signs warning motorists to put down their cellphones.

House Bill 289 — which also was signed by the governor — creates the Tara Subdivision Crime Prevention and Neighborhood Improvement District. Property owners can be charged $100 per parcel the first year of the district for security and other expenses. The maximum annual fee rises to $200 in subsequent years.

The governor also signed:

  • House Bill 407, to remove some barriers for the admission or readmission of some young people to public schools.
  • House Bill 547, to require the purchase of new seating for public seating areas in state buildings to include at least 5 percent chairs with arms. Public colleges, stadiums, arenas and cafeterias are exempt.
  • House Bill 786, to sync the Lafayette Parish School Board elections with the gubernatorial elections.
  • House Bill 876, to clarify that public schools can display nativity scenes and host Christmas pageants as long as they represent more than one religion as well as a secular symbol.
  • Senate Bill 445, to abolish two juvenile court judgeships in New Orleans.

Follow Michelle Millhollon on Twitter @mmillhollon. For more coverage of Louisiana government and politics, follow our Politics Blog at http://blogs.theadvocate.com/politicsblog/