The Rhode Island Convention Center Authority cleared a major hurdle Friday when Gov. Bruce G. Sundlun signed a bill allowing it to sell tax-exempt bonds for hotel projects.

The governor's signature could pave the way for the issuance of $60 million to $80 million of revenue bonds that would allow the authority to buy the Omni Biltmore Hotel from the Providence Journal Co. and purchase a parking garage linked to the hotel. Proceeds also would finance construction of another hotel, which would adjoin the convention center.

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