Belhaven mayor optimistic after meeting with McCroy; Senate panel backs exemption for hospital

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCT) – Mayor Adam O’Neal was able to meet with those he wanted to earlier Wednesday, including the governor and speaker of the house.

He told 9 On Your Side the meetings went well and he feels optimistic.

O’Neal and supporters held a rally outside the legislative building to protest the Certificate Of Need law, something they call outdated. The CON law requires state approval before opening up a hospital.

O’Neal says the law helps large corporations and kills small hospitals and providers. He says by having an existing facility, they’re exempt from the CON law. But he says there’s confusion amongst DHHS officials about what an existing facility is.

“They wanted to interpret it as a currently operating existing facility,” explained Adam O’Neal, Belhaven mayor. “I have a facility that’s been there since 1949 that’s never had the power cut off.”

Earlier in the day, Senator Bill Cook successfully introduced a bill provision in the Senate Rules Committee that would clarify what an existing facility is. He says as long as the hospital could reopen within 36 months, it could be exempt from the CON law.

There were representatives from across the state on hand at the rally.


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