Lawmakers move swiftly to ban Statehouse camping

Occupy Columbia tents outside the Statehouse Thursday.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP/WACH) -- South Carolina legislators are trying again to boot Occupy Columbia protesters from Statehouse grounds.

The House Judiciary Committee advanced a bill on Thursday that would ban camping and sleeping around the state capitol. The vote moving the measure to the floor came just hours after a subcommittee vote.

The legislation could make it to the house floor by Tuesday.

â??Weâ??d have to pass a second reading, have a third reading on Thursday,â?? said Rep. Rick Quinn (R-Lexington).â?? "She (Governor Haley) could sign it by the afternoon."

Occupy Columbia protesters returned Wednesday with several tents as emergency regulations barring their around-the-clock presence expired. The Senate approved the measure last week. It has the same wording as the emergency rule adopted in December by the Budget and Control Board.

The protesters dispersed Dec. 23 after a federal judge upheld the rule. But the temporary regulation expired at midnight Sunday.

Regulations created through the normal process are in a 30-day waiting period and would need legislative approval to take effect.

â??Occupy Columbia participants will be working on the issues that are nearest and dearest to them, regardless of whether we can set up a tent," said Tim Liszewski.

(The Associated Press contributed report)