Bill gives Clemson independence for some projects

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina Senate has approved a bill giving Clemson University autonomy from state government's multi-layered approval process for certain construction projects.

School officials say the regulatory relief bill will bypass months of unnecessary delays and help attract funding from private sources, ultimately saving taxpayers money.

The measure approved 37-4 on Thursday creates a so-called enterprise division within the university to oversee construction projects related to economic development and athletics.

Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler says his bill strikes a good balance between accountability and efficiency. The Clemson graduate says government's regulatory review process can be a cumbersome beast.

Clemson President Jim Barker notes it's not a new concept. He says the Legislature gave similar flexibility for construction of Clemson's International Center on Automotive Research in Greenville.

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