Charleston university bill heads to Senate floor

      By ANDREW COFFMAN SMITHAssociated Press

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The South Carolina Senate is skipping a step to hasten passage of a bill to create the University of Charleston before the General Assembly adjourns.

      In an unusual move, lawmakers removed the bill from the Senate Education Committee and sent it directly to the Senate floor.

      The bill seeks to create a research university attached to the College of Charleston to meet the workforce demands of a changing economy.

      The Senate could vote on the bill as early as next week despite the objections of Sen. John Courson of Columbia, who chairs the education committee.

      Sen. Hugh Leatherman of Florence says the process needs to be accelerated because a significant donor is waiting on the bill's passage.

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