RICHMOND, Va. (AP)- A bill awaiting Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s signature would eliminate the requirement that nurse practitioners with a certain amount of clinical experience have a contract with a physician who oversees them.

Supporters of the measure say the currently required collaborative practice agreements between nurse practitioners and doctors are an unnecessary and sometimes costly burden. They say doing away with them could expand access to health care in areas of the state that sorely need it.

Meanwhile, the Medical Society of Virginia, a professional association for physicians, is asking Northam for an amendment that advocates of the bill see as a step backward.

Northam’s spokesman says the governor is evaluating the bill.

According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, Virginia is currently among the 12 states in the nation with the most restrictive requirements.