Bill Banning Camping Advances at State House

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By Rob Dew

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

A House Judiciary panel advanced Thursday a bill banning camping and sleeping around the state capitol. The full committee is set to meet later specifically to move the measure to the floor.

Occupy Columbia protesters returned Wednesday with several tents as emergency regulations barring their around-the-clock presence expired.

The measure approved by the Senate last week 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 validated 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. That could take weeks.

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