Outside Section 135
Data Current as of: 12/6/2017
There shall be established a special commission to study and report on childhood vision and eye health in the commonwealth. The commission shall study children's vision care and quality, including (i) vision screening, (ii) eye examinations and appropriate preventative measures and (iii) develop recommendations for ensuring screenings for all children. The commission shall review the commonwealth's success at preventative measures, including screening, and treating all of its children for vision impairments and eye disease and identify populations that do not receive screening, eye examinations or necessary related treatments.
The commission shall consist of the commissioner of the department of public health, or a designee, who shall serve as chair; the commissioner of the department of elementary and secondary education, or a designee; the commissioner of early education and care, or a designee; the house and senate chairs of the joint committee on public health, or their designees; 2 members of the Children's Vision Massachusetts Coalition; 1 member of the Massachusetts school nurse organization, Inc.; a member of the Massachusetts Society of Optometrists, Inc.; 1 member of the Massachusetts Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons, Inc.; and 1 member of the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The commission shall submit a report, along with any recommendations for legislation, to the clerks of the house of representatives and senate, the house and senate chairs of the joint committee on health care financing, and the house and senate chairs of the joint committee on public health on or before February 1, 2018.
I am vetoing this section because a nine-member commission is not needed to identify improvements in an existing program. The Department of Public Health administers a childhood vision screening program, after consultation with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, under Chapter 71, Section 57 of the General Laws, as amended in Chapter 181 of the Acts of 2004. My Administration released updated protocols for schools on September 30, 2016. Regular review and updating of these protocols, if needed, is the best way to improve childhood vision and eye care in Massachusetts.