A state employees' union and several Department of Health nurses and Democratic state lawmakers are suing Gov. Tom Corbett's administration over a plan to close nearly half of the state's 60 community health centers.
The lawsuit was filed Monday in Commonwealth Court.
Department of Health officials say they can do a better job treating public health problems and reaching more people by making community health nurses more mobile. They say the centers have expensive leases and are underused by the public.
The lawsuit says the plan violates a 1996 law that requires legislative approval before closing any centers.
The union says 26 nurses will lose their jobs, while closing the centers runs the risk of slowing the detection or prevention of outbreaks of communicable diseases, particularly in rural areas.