violations. The legislation would have removed the
provision that suspends drivers’ licenses for individuals who fail to pay the fine, which would have led to
a significant decrease in funding for trauma care in
the state. The ACS opposed the bill and will continue
working to avert efforts to cut trauma funding in Texas
when the legislature reconvenes in 2017.
H.B. 261 was introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives. This bill would create an Ohio Trauma
Board and make changes to the state’s trauma system.
The board, which would be administered by the Ohio
Department of Health, would comprise 19 members
appointed by the Governor, Speaker of the House,
and Senate President. The board would be responsible for operating the state trauma registry, seeking
and distributing grants, and developing a statewide
system for improving the quality of trauma care and
The legislation also would add new designation standards, such as participation in statewide and regional
injury prevention activities and submission of more
timely data to the registry. In addition, the bill would
require the Ohio Department of Health to hire an
executive director and chief medical director. At press
time, H.B. 261 was awaiting action in the Health and
Aging Committee. The Ohio Chapter of the ACS and
the Ohio Committee on Trauma are advocating for
passage of this bill.
Motorcycle helmet laws
Numerous states introduced legislation to repeal,
change, or institute a universal motorcycle helmet law.
Following is a roundup of the bills, all of which failed
in their respective statehouses.
•Iowa: H.F. 267 would have required persons operating a motorcycle and their passengers to wear helmets.
•Nebraska: L.B. 31 would have repealed the state’s mandatory helmet law.
•New Mexico: S.B. 327 would have mandated the use
of helmets while operating a motorcycle for everyone;
S.B. 308 would have created a validation sticker to
exempt motorcycle operators and their passengers who
are older than 18 years of age from wearing a helmet.
• Washington: S.B. 5198 would have removed the mandatory helmet requirement for individuals older than
18 years of age.
• West Virginia: S.B. 356 would have exempted individuals from wearing a helmet who are both older than age
21 and have a health insurance plan with at least $10,000
in medical benefits for injuries incurred as a result of an
accident while operating a motorcycle.
• Tennessee: H.B. 700/S.B. 925, bills to repeal Tennessee’s
universal helmet law, would have exempted motorcycle operators and passengers older than 21 years of age
from the requirement to wear a helmet if they have
health insurance coverage through a carrier other than
TennCare and would have changed a violation of the
helmet law into a secondary offense.
Scope of practice
The Arkansas Senate Committee on Public Health,
Welfare and Labor in February voted down S.B. 78,
legislation that would have removed the physician
supervision requirement for certified registered nurse
anesthetists and permitted them to practice independently. The ACS and other physician groups in the
state opposed the bill.
California surgeons helped to successfully block
S.B. 622, a bill that would have allowed optometrists
to significantly expand their scope of practice. More
specifically, the legislation would have authorized
optometrists to perform scalpel and laser eye operations, administer immunizations, and perform or
order laboratory and diagnostic imaging tests, all
with minimal training. California surgeons and
the California Medical Association argued that this
legislation would place patients at risk of significant harm because optometrists lack the education,
training, and experience to safely provide these
types of services. The College and ACS California