Gov. vetoes PA hydrocodone bill, signs/issues order on eye care bill

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has vetoed nine of the bills that passed during the 2017 legislative session, including “Senate Bill 125 [which would have authorized] physicians to delegate their authority to prescribe hydrocodone compound products to physician assistants.” 

The governor’s office issued a statement that said that, “[The bill] would add several thousand prescribers to our health care system and, as a result, create the potential for hundreds of thousands more opioid prescriptions to be issued. Like many other states, Georgia is currently in the grips of an opioid abuse epidemic and this change is incongruent with the state’s efforts to quell that problem. For the foregoing reasons, I hereby VETO S.B. 125.” 

According to Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) Government Relations Director Derek Norton, “Governor Deal signed a number of key bills into law, including S.B. 121, which will allow naloxone to be available on an over-the-counter basis, H.B. 249, which is designed to reduce opioid abuse, H.B. 165, which is MAG’s maintenance of certification bill, S.B. 47, which will allow a visiting sports team’s physicians and trainers to provide care in Georgia without the need to be licensed in the state, and S.B. 16, which expands the list of conditions that are covered by the state’s medical cannabis oil law.” 

Norton adds that, “Governor Deal also signed S.B. 153 into law, which will – with exceptions – allow optometrists to inject pharmaceutical agents around and into the surface layer of a patient’s eye once they complete the requisite training or are enrolled in such training and are under the direct supervision of a board-certified ophthalmologist.” 

But he also points out that, “In addition to signing S.B. 153 into law, the governor issued a corresponding executive order that is designed to address patient safety concerns by stipulating that any training program (required by the legislation) be sponsored by an appropriately credentialed school and approved by the board of ophthalmology.”

Norton concludes that, “While MAG opposed H.B. 153 and encouraged the governor to veto of this legislation, we appreciate the governor’s commitment to patient safety through this executive order.”
Contact MAG Government Relations Director Derek Norton at or 678.303.9280 with questions.   

Click for list of bills vetoed by Gov. Deal 

Click for S.B. 153 executive order