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Lawmakers Could Clear Way For Hospital

Halifax Hospital Medical Center, Daytona Beach
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The Florida Channel
Halifax Hospital Medical Center, Daytona Beach

Amid a Florida Supreme Court case about the issue, a House panel Tuesday approved a plan that would clear the way for a new hospital in Central Florida.

The proposal (HB 523) would allow the public Halifax Hospital Medical Center to operate hospitals outside the boundaries of its taxing district.

The measure stems from a legal battle about a decision by Halifax, which is based in Daytona Beach, to build a hospital in Deltona, which is outside the district boundaries.

After a legal challenge to the decision, a circuit judge ruled that Halifax did not have the legal authority to issue bonds for the hospital outside the boundaries. Halifax appealed to the Supreme Court, which heard arguments last month.

But the House Local, Federal & Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Tuesday approved the proposal, sponsored by Rep. David Santiago, R-Deltona, that would allow Halifax to operate outside the boundaries, including at the hospital in Deltona.

Santiago said the city in western Volusia County has been “crying for many years” for a hospital. “This is a big deal for my county,” Santiago said. A House staff analysis said the bill would “facilitate the timely completion and opening” of the Deltona hospital.