Group sues over rejection of eye law referendum effort

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Opponents of a new Arkansas law that expands the procedures optometrists can perform are suing the state for rejecting an effort to hold a referendum on the measure next year.

Safe Surgery Arkansas on Tuesday asked the state Supreme Court to reverse the election officials’ ruling that the group had not submitted enough valid signatures to force a public vote on the eye surgery law.

The new law allows optometrists to perform several procedures that currently only ophthalmologists can perform. It’s drawn heavy opposition from ophthalmologists who say the change puts patients at risk.

Safe Surgery is challenging a law that officials used to reject the petitions that require canvassers to file required paperwork before they can begin collecting signatures.

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