Establishes the save our sight program and the save our sight fund to promote vision health and safety for children; targets children with amblyopia for support regarding such children's vision; provides for information to be disseminated by the department of motor vehicles and for voluntary contributions to the fund.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, the vehicle and traffic law and the state finance law, in relation to establishing the save our sight program and the save our sight fund
PURPOSE: To establish the "Save Our Sight Program" and the "Save Our Sight Fund" to help raise funds for vision screening programs to detect vision problems in children.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 amends the Public Health Law by adding a new Section 22 whereby the Health Commissioner in conjunction with the Motor Vehicles Commissioner establishes a "Save Our Sight Program." The program will provide support to nonprofit organizations that offer vision screening and education services, as well as implement a voluntary children's vision screening training and certification program for caregivers and teachers; track amblyopia treatment in children; establish a matching grant program for the purchase of protective eye wear for children; and provide vision health and safety program materials to classrooms.
Section 2 amends the Vehicle and Traffic Law by adding a new Section 401-c that establishes a program whereby people applying for or renewing motor vehicle registrations or driver licenses may voluntarily contribute $1 to the "Save Our Sight Fund."
Section 3 amends the State Finance Law by adding a new Section 81 to create the "Save Our Sight Fund." All monies of the fund shall be made available from the State Comptroller to the Commissioner of the Department of Health for the "Save Our Sight Program".
JUSTIFICATION: This legislation would provide for a $1 voluntary check-off box on motor vehicle and driver license registration and renewal forms. Contributions raised would be administered by the Department of Health to support programs to help detect and prevent blindness in children.
Greater attention needs to be paid to the vision of children, as vision disorders are one of the most prevalent disabilities among youth. Untreated eye problems, such as amblyopia (lazy eye), eye injuries, muscle imbalances and color blindness in children can lead to difficulties in learning and behavior as well as eventual blindness. Since, according to Prevent Blindness, vision problems affect one in twenty preschoolers and one in four school-age children, screening should be widespread. Also, treatment is most successful when problems are detected early. Yet, approximately 80 percent of children under age six (more than 1.3 million New York children) are not being screened for vision problems before they
enter school. This legislation provides for an easy mechanism to raise funds for a vision screening program.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2009-10: S.1126 - Referred to Health; Reported and Committed to Finance 2007-08: S.2926 - Referred to Health 2005-06: S.1467 - Referred to Health 2003-04: S.1984 - Referred to Health 2001-02: S.1499 - Referred to Health
EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1764--A 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 12, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sens. PERKINS, DIAZ, DILAN, DUANE, HASSELL-THOMPSON, KRUEGER, MONTGOMERY, OPPENHEIMER, PARKER, STAVISKY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Health -- recommitted to the Committee on Health in accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the public health law, the vehicle and traffic law and the state finance law, in relation to establishing the save our sight program and the save our sight fund THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The public health law is amended by adding a new section 23 to read as follows: S 23. SAVE OUR SIGHT PROGRAM. THE COMMISSIONER, IN CONSULTATION WITH THE COMMISSIONER OF MOTOR VEHICLES, IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED AND DIRECTED TO ESTABLISH WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT, A SAVE OUR SIGHT PROGRAM. SUCH PROGRAM SHALL: 1. PROVIDE SUPPORT TO NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS THAT OFFER VISION SCREENING AND EDUCATION SERVICES; 2. IMPLEMENT A VOLUNTARY CHILDREN'S VISION SCREENING TRAINING AND CERTIFICATION PROGRAM FOR VOLUNTEERS, CHILD DAY-CARE PROVIDERS, NURSES, TEACHERS, HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS PRACTICING IN PRIMARY CARE SETTINGS AND FOR OTHER PERSONS SERVING CHILDREN; 3. DEVELOP AND IMPLEMENT A REGISTRY AND TARGETED VOLUNTARY CASE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM TO DETERMINE WHETHER CHILDREN WITH AMBLYOPIA ARE RECEIVING PROFESSIONAL EYE CARE AND TO PROVIDE PARENTS AND LEGAL GUARDI- ANS OF CHILDREN WITH AMBLYOPIA WITH INFORMATION AND SUPPORT REGARDING SUCH CHILDREN'S VISION; 4. ESTABLISH A MATCHING GRANT PROGRAM FOR THE PURCHASE AND DISTRIB- UTION OF PROTECTIVE EYEWEAR TO CHILDREN;EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD06899-02-2 S. 1764--A 2
5. PROVIDE VISION HEALTH AND SAFETY PROGRAMS AND MATERIALS TO CLASS- ROOMS; AND 6. FOR THE PURPOSES OF SECTION FOUR HUNDRED ONE-C OF THE VEHICLE AND TRAFFIC LAW, TO DEVELOP MATERIALS ON THE IMPORTANCE OF EYE CARE AND SAFETY AND TO DELIVER SUCH MATERIALS TO THE COMMISSIONER OF MOTOR VEHI- CLES FOR DISTRIBUTION PURSUANT TO SECTION FOUR HUNDRED ONE-C OF THE VEHICLE AND TRAFFIC LAW. S 2. The vehicle and traffic law is amended by adding a new section 401-c to read as follows: S 401-C. SAVE OUR SIGHT PROGRAM; VOLUNTARY CONTRIBUTION. IN ADDITION TO THE FEES COLLECTED PURSUANT TO THIS ARTICLE, EVERY APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION OR RENEWAL REGISTRATION OF A MOTOR VEHICLE AND EVERY APPLI- CATION FOR AN OPERATOR'S LICENSE OR FOR RENEWAL THEREOF SHALL PROVIDE AN OPTION TO THE OWNER OF THE VEHICLE BEING REGISTERED OR APPLICANT TO MAKE A ONE-DOLLAR VOLUNTARY CONTRIBUTION TO THE SAVE OUR SIGHT FUND ESTAB- LISHED PURSUANT TO SECTION EIGHTY-ONE OF THE STATE FINANCE LAW. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL COLLECT SUCH ADDITIONAL ONE DOLLAR FROM ANY PERSON WHO OPTS TO CONTRIBUTE TO SUCH FUND. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL ALSO MAKE AVAILABLE TO EVERY PERSON APPLYING FOR REGISTRATION OR RENEWAL REGISTRA- TION OF A MOTOR VEHICLE AND EVERY APPLICATION FOR AN OPERATOR'S LICENSE OR FOR RENEWAL THEREOF MATERIALS ON THE IMPORTANCE OF EYE CARE AND SAFE- TY PROVIDED BY THE COMMISSIONER OF HEALTH PURSUANT TO SECTION TWENTY-THREE OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH LAW. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL FORWARD ALL MONEYS RECEIVED PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION TO THE COMPTROLLER FOR DEPOSIT INTO THE SAVE OUR SIGHT FUND ESTABLISHED PURSU- ANT TO SECTION EIGHTY-ONE OF THE STATE FINANCE LAW. S 3. The state finance law is amended by adding a new section 81 to read as follows: S 81. SAVE OUR SIGHT FUND. 1. THERE IS HEREBY ESTABLISHED IN THE CUSTODY OF THE STATE COMPTROLLER, A FUND TO BE KNOWN AS THE SAVE OUR SIGHT FUND. 2. SUCH FUND SHALL CONSIST OF ALL MONEYS APPROPRIATED FOR THE PURPOSE OF SUCH FUND, ALL MONEYS TRANSFERRED TO SUCH FUND PURSUANT TO LAW AND ALL MONEYS REQUIRED TO BE PAID TO THE CREDIT OF SUCH FUND PURSUANT TO SECTION FOUR HUNDRED ONE-C OF THE VEHICLE AND TRAFFIC LAW. 3. MONEYS OF THE FUND SHALL BE AVAILABLE FOR APPROPRIATION AND ALLO- CATION ONLY TO THE COMMISSIONER OF HEALTH FOR THE PURPOSES OF CARRYING OUT THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION TWENTY-THREE OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH LAW AND SECTION FOUR HUNDRED ONE-C OF THE VEHICLE AND TRAFFIC LAW. 4. MONEYS OF THE FUND, WHEN AVAILABLE, SHALL BE PAID OUT ON THE AUDIT AND WARRANT OF THE COMPTROLLER ON VOUCHERS CERTIFIED OR APPROVED BY THE COMMISSIONER OF HEALTH OR BY AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH DESIGNATED BY SUCH COMMISSIONER. S 4. This act shall take effect immediately.