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VOLUME 37, ISSUE 18
ISSUE DATE: SEPTEMBER 19, 2005
RULE PROPOSALS
LAW AND PUBLIC SAFETY
DIVISION OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS

37 N.J.R. 3553(a)

Proposed Amendments: 13:33-8.8

New Jersey Board of Examiners of Ophthalmic Dispensers and Ophthalmic Technicians

Fee Schedule

Authorized By: New Jersey Board of Examiners of Ophthalmic Dispensers and Ophthalmic Technicians, Dorcas O'Neal, Executive Director.

Authority: N.J.S.A. 45:1-3.2 and 52:17B-41.13.

Calendar Reference: See Summary below for explanation of exception to calendar requirement.

Proposal Number: PRN 2005-342.

Submit written comments by November 18, 2005 to:
Dorcas O'Neal, Executive Director
State Board of Examiners of Ophthalmic Dispensers and
Ophthalmic Technicians
PO Box 45031
Newark, NJ 07101

The agency proposal follows:

Summary

Pursuant to the rulemaking authority in N.J.S.A. 52:17B-41.13, the Board of Examiners of Ophthalmic Dispensers and Ophthalmic Technicians (the "Board") proposes amendments to N.J.A.C. 13:33-8.8. These amendments raise fees for licensing examinations, initial licensure, licensure renewal, permits and continuing education sponsor fees. These amendments also introduce new fees for re-taking licensing examinations, duplicate licenses and verification of licensure.

Pursuant to the statutory mandate set forth in N.J.S.A. 45:1-3.2, a professional board's fees must be set at a level to assure that it can meet the expenses it incurs in performing its duties, but they may not exceed those expenses. A Division of Consumer Affairs fiscal officer recently completed a financial analysis which revealed that adjustments to these fees are necessary and appropriate to satisfy current and anticipated expense levels and to comport with N.J.S.A. 45:1-3.2.

The Board will be incurring a new cost for processing criminal history background checks that will begin to be administered in fiscal year 2005. While applicants will be required to directly pay for the criminal history background check, the Board will incur costs in reviewing the results of these checks and for data entry associated with these checks. The fiscal officer has also projected increases in a number of expense categories from fiscal year 2005 to fiscal year 2006.

The Board is proposing to raise the examination fee for ophthalmic dispensers from $ 75.00 to $ 300.00, the examination fee for ophthalmic technicians from $ 50.00 to $ 250.00 and the qualifying technical examination fee from $ 50.00 to $ 100.00. The Board is proposing new fees for retaking the ophthalmic dispenser and ophthalmic technician licensing examinations. An individual who is retaking these examinations will be required to pay $ 75.00 for each part of the examination he or she is retaking. The Board is also proposing a new fee of $ 50.00 for retaking the qualifying technical examination.

The Board is proposing to increase the initial license fee for ophthalmic dispensers from $ 230.00 to $ 420.00 if paid during the first year of a biennial period, and from $ 115.00 to $ 210.00 if paid during the second year of a biennial period. The Board is proposing to increase the initial license fee for ophthalmic technicians from $ 175.00 to $ 320.00 if paid during the first year of a biennial period, and from $ 87.50 to $ 160.00 if paid during the second year of a biennial period. The Board is proposing to raise the fee for a branch office license for an ophthalmic dispenser from $ 165.00 to $ 230.00, if paid during the first year of a biennial period, and from $ 82.50 to $ 115.00, if paid during the second year of a biennial period. The Board is proposing to raise the fee for a branch office license for an ophthalmic technician from $ 110.00 to $ 150.00, if paid during the first year of a biennial period, and from $ 55.00 to $ 75.00, if paid during the second year of a biennial period. The Board is proposing to raise renewal fees for ophthalmic dispensers from $ 230.00 to $ 420.00 and for ophthalmic technicians from $ 175.00 to $ 320.00. The Board is also proposing to raise the branch office renewal fees for ophthalmic dispensers from $ 165.00 to $ 230.00 and for ophthalmic technicians from $ 110.00 to $ 150.00.

The Board proposes to raise the fees for permits and permit renewal for temporary permits, apprentice dispenser permits and apprentice technician permits. These fees are currently $ 50.00. The Board proposes to raise the fee for temporary permits to $ 210.00, for apprentice dispenser permits to $ 300.00 and for apprentice technicians to $ 100.00. The Board is introducing two new fees, a duplicate license fee of $ 50.00 and a verification of licensure fee of $ 50.00. The Board proposes to raise the fee for continuing education sponsors from $ 100.00 to $ 500.00. The Board has determined that the comment period for this proposal will be 60 days; therefore, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 1:30-3.3(a)5, this proposal is excepted from the rulemaking calendar requirement.

Social Impact

The proposed amendments to the fee schedule at N.J.A.C. 13:33-8.8 should produce a positive impact upon the public as the fee increase will provide the Board with the appropriate funding to continue the licensure program and to oversee the conduct of the professionals who render ophthalmic services to the general public.

Economic Impact

The proposed amendments to N.J.A.C. 13:33-8.8 will have an economic impact upon all applicants and licensees by increasing fees for examinations, initial licenses and biennial renewals. The Board has determined that the proposed fee increases are essential in order for the Board to raise the revenue necessary to continue to discharge its statutory obligation to regulate the ophthalmic profession. The Board believes that the increases are consistent with the statutory provisions contained in N.J.S.A. 45:1-3.2, which allow the Board to charge licensure fees to defray the expenses incurred by the Board.

Federal Standards Statement

A Federal standards analysis is not required because there are no applicable Federal laws or standards.

Jobs Impact

The Director does not believe that the proposed amendments will result in an increase or decrease of jobs in this State.

Agriculture Industry Impact

The Director does not believe that the proposed amendments will have any impact on the agriculture industry of this State.

Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Since the individuals who will pay the fees amended by this proposal will be individually licensed by the Board under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (the Act), N.J.S.A. 52:14B-16 et seq., they may be considered "small businesses" for the purposes of the Act.

The costs imposed by the proposed amendments are the same for all licensees as outlined above in the Economic Impact statement. The Board does not believe that licensees will need to employ any professional services to comply with the requirements of the amendments. The proposed amendments impose no reporting or recordkeeping requirements, but impose compliance requirements upon licensees.

The proposed fee increases are designed to accommodate the ongoing costs associated with regulating ophthalmic dispensers and ophthalmic technicians. The Board proposes a uniform increase in fees for all licensees and applicants. These increases were calculated based upon the costs the Board will incur and the number of licensed ophthalmic dispensers and ophthalmic technicians. It would be impossible to accurately calculate the fees that the Board must impose pursuant to N.J.S.A. 45:1-3.2 without assessing each licensee the same amount; therefore, no differing compliance requirements are available to any licensee or applicants for licensure.

Smart Growth Impact

The Board does not anticipate that the proposed amendments will have any impact on the achievement of smart growth and implementation of the State Development and Redevelopment Plan, otherwise known as the State Plan.

Full text of the proposal follows (additions indicated in boldface thus; deletions indicated in brackets [thus]):

13:33-8.8 Fee schedule

(a) The following fees shall be charged by the Board effective upon promulgation.

1. (No change.)

2. Examination:

i. Ophthalmic Dispenser............................................. [75.00] 300.00

ii. Ophthalmic Dispenser re-examination......................... 75.00 for each part taken

[ii.]iii. Ophthalmic Technician.................................. [50.00] 250.00

iv. Ophthalmic Technician re-examination....................... 75.00 for each part taken

[iii.]v. Qualifying Technical....................................... [50.00] 100.00

vi. Qualifying Technical re-examination........................... 50.00

3. Initial license fee:

i. Ophthalmic Dispenser:

(1) During the first year of a biennial renewal period. [230.00] 420.00

(2) During the second year of a biennial renewal period. [115.00] 210.00

ii. Ophthalmic Technician:

(1) During the first year of a biennial renewal period. [175.00] 320.00

(2) During the second year of a biennial renewal period [87.50] 160.00

iii. Branch Office Ophthalmic Dispenser:

(1) During the first year of a biennial renewal period [165.00] 230.00

(2) During the second year of a biennial renewal period [82.50] 115.00

iv. Branch Office Ophthalmic Technician:

(1) During the first year of a biennial renewal period. [110.00] 150.00

(2) During the second year of a biennial renewal period. [55.00] 75.00

4. Biennial renewal:

i. Ophthalmic Dispenser........................................... [230.00] 420.00

ii. Ophthalmic Technician....................................... [175.00] 320.00

iii. Branch Office Ophthalmic Dispenser.................. [165.00] 230.00

iv. Branch Office Ophthalmic Technician................ [110.00] 150.00

5. Permits and permit renewals:

i. Temporary............................................................. [50.00] 210.00

ii. Apprentice Dispenser............................................. [50.00] 300.00

iii. Apprentice Technician......................................... [50.00] 100.00

6.-7. (No change.)

8. Duplicate license............................................................... 50.00

[8.]9. (No change in text.)

10. Verification of licensure................................................ 50.00

[9.]11. Continuing education sponsor fee

([biennial] annual)...................................... [100.00] 500.00

Recodify existing 10. and 11. as 12. and 13. (No change in text.)



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