South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has vetoed a pair of budget provisions that would have put hurdles in the way of the proposed Jasper Ocean Terminal.
South Carolina is partnering with Georgia to build a new port.
The two states have been working together since 2008 on a new shipping terminal on the South Carolina side of the shared Savannah River.
But the effort has become a political football in the Palmetto State, where opponents of a deeper Savannah harbor have lobbed criticisms at the project in Jasper County.
Haley says, South Carolina lawmakers must either endorse or reject the joint project.
"This is where the legislature is going to have to show the truth in how they vote," Haley says. "If you are for Jasper then their action will matter on this veto."
The project is being spearheaded by the Joint Project Office, which has Georgia and South Carolina appointees.
Haley says, she vetoed a measure that would have barred officials from funding the agency unless a majority of the JPO's South Carolina members agreed.
"What it's trying to do is pull away any sort of power from the JPO," Haley says. "This is basically saying that the majority of the South Carolina delegation has to decide before they can vote."
The vetoes go back to South Carolina House and Senate, where two-thirds of members can override them.