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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The South Carolina House has given overwhelming approval to a measure aimed at improving quality of life for the military in the state and help dodge potential base closures in coming years.

GOP Rep. Chip Limehouse of Mount Pleasant called Thursday's vote a major step in helping South Carolina keep its military bases as the Pentagon gets leaner amid national budget cuts. A perfunctory vote will send it to the Senate.

The measure includes steps the Pentagon wants to help support military men and women.

For example, it waives a one-year waiting period for in-state tuition at state colleges and universities. The measure promotes special courts to treat veterans who run into legal trouble, and also backs studies of children from military families to help track their academic progress.

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