By SEANNA ADCOX
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina senators will consider a bill allowing the state to borrow $120 million to deepen the Charleston Harbor.
The measure before the Senate Finance Committee would authorize South Carolina to issue capital improvement bonds to cover the federal government's share of the estimated $300 million dredging project if necessary.
Senate Finance Chairman Hugh Leatherman is sponsoring the measure. He says deepening the harbor is essential to the state's economy.
The House's proposed spending plan for 2012-13 already sets aside $180 million to fund the state's share of the project.
Charleston is in a race with competing ports to accommodate super-size ships expected regularly on the East Coast after the Panama Canal widens in 2014.
The bill would also allow the state to borrow $18.5 million to dredge Georgetown's port.
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