Gov. DeSantis vetoes two bills, including top priority of Kathleen Passidomo
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 5/5/23-Gov. Ron DeSantis shakes hands with Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, left as he leaves the news conference at the close of the 2023 legislative session, Friday, at the Capitol in Tallahassee. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

That includes one bill that was part of the ongoing 'eyeball wars' in Tallahassee.

Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed his first two bills of the year on Friday, axing SB 230, which would have prevented optometrists from calling themselves “physicians” and HB 385, which would have conformed Florida law to interstate compact rules allowing states to charge fees under the professional licensure compact.

The legislation on optometrists was the latest chapter in the long-running “eyeball wars” saga in the Capitol between that profession and ophthalmologists and was a top priority for Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, a Naples Republican.

DeSantis’ official veto message doesn’t explain why he vetoed either bill.

The bill was the source of contention between the House and Senate, as the House originally amended the measure to allow optometrists to continue describing themselves as physicians in advertisements and in interactions with patients. But the Senate refused to accept that change in the final days of the Regular Session and sent it back to the House, which eventually passed it with Passidomo’s preferred language on a 78-34 vote.

“We thank the Governor that he heard the outcry from the profession that SB 230 would bring optometry and primary eye care backwards when we work hand in hand throughout Florida as doctors and physicians with our partners in ophthalmology to provide exceptional service to Floridians,” Dave Ramba, lead lobbyist for the Florida Optometric Association said in a statement. “Optometrists have a doctorate and are defined as physicians under state and federal laws and should be able to advertise themselves as such.”

Gray Rohrer


  • PeterH

    June 2, 2023 at 1:51 pm

    DeSantis practices medicine without a license! He has no professional qualifications or training to weigh in on how doctors treat their patients.

  • Earl Pitts American

    June 2, 2023 at 1:59 pm

    Good afternoon Florida,
    I, Earl Pitts American, am not at liberty to say that Passidomo’s reluctance to go all the way with Florida’s Constitutional Carry Bill had anything whatsoever to do with the veto of her beloved Eye Ball Bill. So I, Earl Pitts American, will not say anything at all about it.
    So lets all just calm down and all the eye ball Doc’s get off Passidomo’s back for letting you all down on her promise to get your important legislation pushed thru.
    I, Earl Pitts American, feel that we all learned a little something something on how the total legislative process, in Florida, works, from an idea to a bill to passage by both houses to the Govornor’s desk. And maybe some of us learned a little something something about what can totally de-rail the legislative train “From A Bill To Law” process.
    Who knows – maybe there will be something related to the eye ball bill come up next year which we can use to start a dialog on in committee meetings about the eye ball bill somehow kind of sort of but not really related to the full passage of Florida’s DENIED by Passidoma Constitutional Carry Law.
    Again, I Earl Pitts American, remind everyone that the veto of the eye ball bill and Passidomo’s totally unfair refusal to entertain full passage of Consitutional Carry are totally unrelated to each other. And futher more have absloutly nothing whatsoever to do with the passage in Holy Scripture related to “An Eye for An Eye”.
    Good, now can we all just kind of move along and focus on how we are all going to “DO BETTER” next year?
    I’m glad we had this nice little talk today,
    Earl Pitts”Government Whisperer” American

  • Maryanne Hamnerstein

    June 2, 2023 at 2:18 pm

    Excelent and informative post, Earl, on how a bill becomes law. And I agree with you Earl the outcome of the two bills had nothing to do with each other.

  • Walter Cronkite

    June 2, 2023 at 2:33 pm

    Earl I heard a rouge group of militant eye doctors and Senators were holed up in a luxuary suite over there at the doubletree watching A Christmas Story. When that part about the red ryder bb gun came on and the famous line “You’ll shoot your eye out” was spoken; a hush fell over the room. Passidomo totally changed at that moment, grew pale and pasty in complexion, and slamed down another brewski.
    And That’s the way it is,
    Big Walter

Comments are closed.


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