By MEG KINNARD
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina lawmakers have advanced a measure aimed at drawing down utility bills in the wake of a nuclear construction project failure that's already cost ratepayers billions.
The House voted 107-1 Wednesday to give second reading to a bill halting customer payments for the failed project at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station.
One more procedural vote must take place before the measure goes to the Senate, which has yet to agree to cutting customers' payments for the shuttered project.
Rep. Peter McCoy has overseen hearings into the project's failure. He says the bill honors the Senate's request for time to deliberate over how to fix the debacle but helps ratepayers in the meantime.
Thus far, SCANA Corp. customers have paid $2 billion toward the company's debt on the project.