MORNING BUZZ: State must enforce hospital plan, Gov. Nikki Haley signs Emma's Law

Posted by ANDREW SHAIN and JAMIE SELF on April 15, 2014 

GERRY MELENDEZ — gmelendez@thestate.com Buy Photo

South Carolina’s certificate-of-need law, which regulates the plans of hospitals and nursing homes to expand or build facilities, is permanent law that cannot be eradicated by Gov. Nikki Haley’s veto pen, the state Supreme Court ruled Monday.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley signed into law Monday a bill requiring more people convicted of driving under the influence to install a device that won't let their vehicles start if the drivers have been drinking.

A years-long effort by state officials to help create standardized testsfor South Carolina's public schools may become moot, leaving uncertain how students will be tested next spring. More than 350 schools across 67 districts were slated to conduct a trial run this spring of the "Smarter Balanced" tests that will determine students' proficiency in math and reading standards known as Common Core.

State Sen. Vincent Sheheen, Democratic candidate for governor, will announce Tuesday a series of proposals aimed at improving the state's embattled child-welfare agency, according to his campaign. Sheheen's plan includes pushing for more state money for the Department of Social Services in the state budget, which now resides in the Senate. If elected governor, Sheheen also would ask for an agency-wide audit of Social Services.

The University of South Carolina said Monday that tickets will be limited for the commencement exercises at Colonial Life Arena, where Vice President Joe Biden will be the commencement speaker on May 9.

Happening today: S.C. Equality and ACLU of SC will hold a protest at noon at Reformation Lutheran Church about the South Carolina's revenue department not recognizing legal gay marriages of state tax filers. ... Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a 2016 White House hopeful, is coming to Charleston on Tuesday to speak at The Citadel for a Free Enterprise Foundation dinner.

State House today

Senate meetings

Full body meets at noon

• 1 p.m.: Judiciary Subcommittee on S.988 (State House, 3rd Floor Conference Room / Agenda)

• 3 p.m.: Judiciary Committee (Gressette Room 308 / Agenda)

• 3 p.m. Finance Committee on H.4701 and H.4702 (Gressette Room 105)

The House is adjourned until April 29

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