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September 24, 2012

Supreme Court will hear lawsuit challenging state workers’ health insurance increase

The state Supreme Court will decide whether Gov. Nikki Haley and the Budget and Control Board had the authority to raise health insurance premiums for state workers.

The state Supreme Court will decide whether Gov. Nikki Haley and the Budget and Control Board had the authority to raise health insurance premiums for state workers.

Last month, the Budget and Control Board -- at Haley’s request -- voted 3-2 to raise health insurance premiums for state workers by 4.6 percent. The vote came after the state legislature voted not to raise those rates.

The Budget and Control Board’s action angered state workers, who sued in an attempt to block the increase. Friday, the state Supreme Court agreed to hear the case.

The Budget and Control Board is five people: the governor, treasurer, comptroller general and chairmen of the House and Senate budget committees. The board oversees most of the administrative functions of state government, which includes the state health plan.

But if lawmakers vote not to do something, and the Budget and Control Board does it anyway, who wins? The state’s highest court will decide.

-- Adam Beam

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