The Buzz

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

STATE HOUSE: S.C. Supreme Court hears arguments on whether DHEC had right to suspend state-mandated program

03/06/2014 12:03 PM

03/06/2014 12:24 PM

The S.C. Supreme Court heard oral arguments today in a lawsuit filed against a state agency for suspending a program that gives clearance to hospitals and nursing homes to build or expand.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control suspended the Certificate of Need program after Gov. Nikki Haley vetoed the line item that included funding for it and other DHEC programs. The state House sustained that veto, and shortly thereafter, DHEC eliminated the program and staff positions that ran it.

The S.C. Hospital Association and S.C. Health Care Association -- along with about 10 hospitals and nursing home companies -- say that the veto did not remove the requirement to follow the law.

Attorneys representing the petitioners argued Thursday that DHEC's obligation to enforce the program also remained, and the agency should have found a way to continue it. They say hospitals and medical care providers have millions of dollars in projects on the line with the program in limbo.

But attorneys for DHEC argued Thursday that the veto did, in effect, suspend the department's obligation to enforce the law.

After the veto was sustained, DHEC informed medical providers to move forward with projects and that the agency would not regulate them.

Check back for details.

About this blog


A blog from The State's political team of Cassie Cope, Jamie Self and Andy Shain. Email tips to Follow The Buzz @buzzatthestate. Follow Cassie @cassielcope. Follow Jamie @jamiemself. Follow Andy @andyshain.

Editor's Choice Videos

Join the Discussion

The State is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service