October 30, 2023 - Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon (D-C Utica/Rome) announced that legislation she co-sponsored to update licensing laws for optometrists and physical therapists practicing in the State of New York has been signed into law.
“Our health care providers are some of New York’s most diligent, dedicated and valuable workers,” said Buttenschon. “These laws mark major steps forward in our fight to improve the health care system for providers and patients alike. They encourage talented young professionals to practice optometry, in our state, no matter where they studied and ensure that our physical therapists meet national accrediting standards and New York
State’s educational requirements. I will continue working hard with my legislative colleagues to strengthen our health care system across the state.”
Students attending an accredited optometry school outside New York have been precluded from participating in supervised clinical programs in our state, a restriction Buttenschon’s measure removes (Ch. 546 of 2023). Previously, optometry students were only allowed to be exempted from licensure laws to do supervised clinical work in New York if they had attended a school of optometry registered in-state. New Yorkers who attend an out-of-state school shouldn’t be discouraged from returning home, Buttenschon added.
Buttenschon also helped pass a law requiring physical therapy practitioners to have earned a doctoral degree or education-determined equivalent in physical therapy (Ch. 594 of 2023). All entry-level physical therapist programs across the country are at the doctoral level, and this law ensures that all licensed New York practitioners receive the necessary training and education for their chosen discipline.