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Supreme Court: Haley can’t appoint DOT secretary

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A state Supreme Court ruling temporarily put the Department of Transportation’s leadership in limbo.

The justices on Wednesday threw out a clause in the state budget allowing Gov. Nikki Haley to continue appointing the DOT secretary.

The court ruled the clause was unrelated to the budget and therefore unconstitutional.

Under the 2007 law that put the DOT in the governor’s Cabinet, Haley’s ability to appoint the secretary should have expired last July. Legislators intended to address that as part of highway-funding legislation.

When they couldn’t agree on funding, legislators tacked a one-year extension onto the budget.

Wednesday’s order says appointment authority reverted last year to the DOT commission.

Hours after the ruling, commissioners voted 8-0 in an emergency meeting to keep Christy Hall as secretary and ratify her decisions.

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