Gov. Inslee Signs Bill to Update Optometric Scope of Practice

Gov. Inslee Signs Bill to Update Optometric Scope of Practice
SSB 5389, Access to Eyecare Act, increases access to safe, quality eyecare

WOODINVILLE — May 9, 2023 — Members of the Optometric Physicians of Washington (OPW) applauded Gov. Jay Inslee for signing The Access to Eyecare Act (SSB 5389) into law today.

SSB 5389 passed both the Senate (46-2) and the House (81-15) with strong, bipartisan support. The bill represents the first update of optometric scope of practice in Washington state in two decades, despite continued advances in optometric training and practice over that time.

“Today’s bill signing completes a years-long effort by the profession to update our state’s scope of practice laws so that they more closely align with the standard of optometric care and the laws in other states,” said OPW President Dr. Michael Sirott. “Optometrists are front-line health care workers who often serve as primary care providers, especially in rural areas of our state. This bill will allow me and my colleagues to more fully treat our patients and ensure they receive access to safe, high quality care without incurring additional delays, travel costs or expenses to address their eye care needs,” added Sirott.

“I want to thank the chairs and ranking members of both the Senate and House Health Care committees – Sens. Annette Cleveland and Ann Rivers, and Reps. Marcus Riccelli and Joe Schmick – for their leadership throughout the legislative process. Their efforts, combined with the outstanding advocacy work of OPW members across the state, have brought us to this important milestone for the profession.

“We also want to thank Gov. Inslee whose signature today is the last step in the process to ensure patients in Washington will have more choices in the delivery of their eye care.”

Sirott noted that the State Board of Optometry will need to complete rulemaking to implement some of the provisions of the new law, a process which could take 18 months or more.

About the Optometric Physicians of Washington
The Optometric Physicians of Washington (OPW) is a statewide professional association whose mission is to enhance the vision and eye health of the public and advance the profession of optometry. For more information, visit

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