South Carolina lawmakers passed a compromise bill Wednesday that will allow the state's solar industry to continue expanding, ending a multi-year impasse over how to regulate the renewable energy source moving forward.

As South Carolina comes to grips with the recent kidnapping and killing of a college student, the case could provide one of the first high-profile tests for the new top prosecutor in Richland County, where experts say convincing juries to sentence someone to death can be more difficult than in other parts of the state.

South Carolina lawmakers advanced a bill Tuesday to allow the Legislature to hire new legal and technical advisers who can negotiate with several investment firms and power companies that are interested in buying Santee Cooper, the state-run utility. 

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