The Buzz

March 2, 2014

STATE HOUSE: DHEC’s Certificate of Need case goes before SC Supreme Court this week

The Buzz

A blog from The State's political team of Cassie Cope, Jamie Self and Andy Shain. Email tips to thebuzz@thestate.com.

Report from The Associated Press: South Carolina’s highest court is gearing up for a debate over whether the state’s health agency can end a program that regulates the building or expansion of medical facilities.

On Thursday, the state Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments over the Certificate of Need program, an approvals process administered by the Department of Health and Environmental Control and required under state law for any medical facilities seeking to build or expand.

The program has been on hold since June, when Gov. Nikki Haley vetoed the $1.7 million needed to run it, saying she thinks it’s an impediment to the free market and isn’t needed. The House sustained Haley’s veto after Ways and Means Chairman Brian White took the floor and said the veto was just about the money, not whether the program should continue.

Since that vote, some House Republicans have said they didn’t intend to nix the program entirely, pointing out last summer that an executive decision to discontinue the program “may be contrary to law but is certainly contrary to the will and intent of the House of Representatives.”

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