House Committee on Health

Sarah Kellogg / KUAR

A bill that would expand the procedures optometrists in Arkansas could perform on a patient, including some surgery, failed in committee after a close vote. The legislation allows optometrists to use ophthalmic lasers for some surgical procedures, an action that is currently prohibited.

The House Committee on Public Health, Welfare and Labor, did not pass the legislation on Tuesday, after hearing people speak for and against the bill. The committee limited testimony to 30 minutes to each side, with each side taking the entirety of that time.