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Group seeks referendum on Arkansas optometrist law

June 11, 2019

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A group has submitted a proposed referendum aimed at overturning a new Arkansas law allowing optometrists to perform a broader range of eye surgeries.

Safe Surgery Arkansas on Tuesday submitted a proposal that would put the new law before voters next year if it submits about 53,493 valid signatures from registered voters by July 23. If the group submits enough valid signatures, the law would be suspended until the referendum goes before voters.

The law being challenged will allow optometrists to administer injections around the eye, remove bumps and lesions from eyelids and perform certain types of laser surgery now performed by ophthalmologists. It was approved by the Legislature and signed into law earlier this year.

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