By Associated Press - Tuesday, December 30, 2014

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The state auditor says the North Carolina State Board of Opticians is running out of money and should either merge with another entity or seek a fee increase.

In an audit released Tuesday, state Auditor Beth Wood says the board will lack adequate operating funds during the 2015 state fiscal year, based on current income and expenses. Wood says this is happening even though the board has implemented cost-cutting measures.

The board licenses opticians, collects fees, investigates complaints and disciplines opticians.

Wood says the board should confer with legislators to determine its options, which include consolidating operations with another licensing board or increasing fees.

In response, board director Sue Hodgin says the board agrees that it should seek a fee increase. She says the board doesn’t support consolidation.

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