April 14, 2014 South Carolina Supreme Court published opinion

Amisub of South Carolina, Inc v South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control

Governor Haley vetoed the line item containing funding for the Certificate of need program administered by department. The South Carolina House of representatives sustained the line item veto. Department announced it would suspend the program for fiscal year 2013-14. Amisub and other entities involved with the program sued in the Court’s original jurisdiction seeking an order requiring department to administer the program. The Court, with one justice concurring in part and dissenting in part, granted relief. The majority held that a governor’s line item veto is only effective as to the funding in the item involved and does not repeal the permanent law funded by the item. It also held that legislative intent to suspend the program was not proven here given the lack of an irreconcilable conflict between the vetoed funding and the permanent program, and reasoning that holding otherwise would transfer legislative power to the governor and allow repeal of law without both chambers approval. The majority finally ordered Department to resume the program be either charging fees or transfer other monies in its budget. The dissent argued that because the funding for the program was vetoed and the veto was sustained, the program is suspended until the legislature revives it with new appropriations. It argued that allowing the transfer of funds would allow agencies to negate the veto and charging fees would allow agencies to defy both governor and legislature.

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