Ordinary people fill the State House lobby on first day of session

By Drew Stewart - bio | email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The lobby of the State House will remain a busy place over the next four months as the General Assembly gets to work hammering out new laws and working on the budget.

If you take a visit to the lobby, you might see folks like judicial candidates and people handing out materials to lawmakers.

You might also see some grass roots organizations, like A Brotherhood of Against Totalitarian Enactments of South Carolina.

"I'm Bob Baxter from Greenville, South Carolina and we're here to remind our representatives they work for the people," said Baxter.

Johnny Gardner has been a State House fixture for about 20 years, fighting against abortion.

"Nineteen years ago, the Lord gave me Voices for the Unborn, and it feels like a child that hasn't grown," said Gardner.

Neither say in their years of coming here that they've gotten many bills passed, but that doesn't stop lawmakers from noticing their causes, like House Speaker Pro Tempore Harry Cato of Greenville.

"I don't think it's in vain and I appreciate them taking time out their busy lives to be here," said Cato.

Regardless to the reasons as to why they came up at the State House, the lawmakers we spoke to say they appreciate the effort of the grassroots campaigners.

"There are several people who take the time to come up here and petition government, which is what they should do," said Rep. Todd Rutherford. "I admire their resolve, and you ought to see the lobby. It's packed."

Although their efforts have not resulted in big changes, there's no slowing these folks down.

"There's a lot of work to be done at the State House, but I do believe there's been progress," said Gardner.

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