TWO new children’s vision bills have been presented to this legislative session (both attached): H2231: “An Act improving child eye health” by Representative Christine Barber and Representative Sean Garballey, and S.136: “An Act improving child eye care” by Senator Michael Moore
Both follow the work of the Special Commission on Children’s Vision and Eye Health whose recommendations are due to be released this year. These bills reflect a next step to ensure an equitable state system is built to support early identification of children’s vision disorders, further evaluation through eye care, and consistency in follow-up care.
Enactment of H2231 or S.136 would:
1. Establish a Children’s Vision and Eye Health Advisory Council within the Department of Public Health: which would be annually accountable to the state legislature. The council would advise the DPH in establishment, maintenance, operation and evaluation of children’s vision across the state. A systematic approach to vision and eye health is one of the fundamental missions of CVMA, and the forming of this council would be the foundational beginning.
2. Establish mandated reporting within DPH: to which licensed providers of vision screening and eyecare would have access.
3. Expand the vision law of 2004 to ensure all preschool children, ages 3 years and older, receive a vision screening (click here for the law with proposed changes)
YOU CAN HELP by calling YOUR own local Representative and Senator’s offices: Legislators and their staff rely on their constituents to inform them. Hearing your child’s or your vision story, or why you are concerned about children’s vision, and why you support these bills, will make an impact.
Ask for your legislator’s support of these bills. Give our contact information or direct them to this page: https://childrensvision.preventblindness.org/resources-for-legislators/
To find out your legislator, click here
For talking points, click here.