FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Rep. Harry Readshaw
Readshaw disappointed with veto
HARRISBURG, May 23 – State Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny, expressed disappointment today following the governor’s Monday veto of S.B. 342.
Senate Bill 342 would have improved the quality of care for those using an occupational therapist by expanding their use and requiring the therapists to have professional liability insurance.
Readshaw said an occupational therapist helps their patient overcome daily struggles caused by injury or weakness to a joint, bone or muscle, through adaptive training and the use of orthotic devices.
This bill would have required occupational therapists to maintain at least $1 million in professional liability insurance, where currently none is required. It also would have brought occupational therapists into the state’s Professional Health Monitoring Program, which would have provided them the same opportunity given to most medical professionals for dealing with drug and alcohol issues under a monitored treatment program.
It also would have allowed certified nurse practitioners and physicians assistants to directly refer appropriate patients to therapists. Current law only allows referrals from physicians, optometrists and podiatrists.
“This is such an obvious improvement over current law, I can’t believe the governor rejected this bill,” Readshaw said. “Between the House and Senate, there were only two 'no' votes en route to this bill’s passage. I have to wonder why the governor would then be a no. Hopefully, both chambers will find the courage to override his veto.”
A veto override would require a two-thirds vote in both chambers to turn the bill into law.