CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Jim Justice vetoed legislation Wednesday that would have eliminated recertification requirements for physician assistants.

Senate Bill 347 would have allowed physician assistants to work without being certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants, as well as work directly with doctors rather than under their supervision.

In a letter, Justice said while he appreciated the importance of enabling physician assistants to fully practice their training, patients must be treated by individuals with the most current knowledge and training.

“The unfortunate effect of this bill is that it weakens existing professional safeguards governing the medical knowledge and skills of physician assistants that have been serving the public interest for years,” Justice said. “Even as it grants greater autonomy to physician assistants.”

Sen. Tom Takubo, R-Kanawha, was the lead sponsor of the bill. Takubo is a pulmonary physician in South Charleston.

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