SC legislators see tea party-influenced session

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Tea party and conservative activists are challenging the establishment in South Carolina's Legislature and carrying their influence well beyond last fall's elections.

Their influence appears to have slowed the pace of legislation. And legislators say they're adept at using Facebook and Twitter while they're debating legislation.

More roll call voting was a top priority for the activists and Gov. Nikki Haley, a tea party favorite.

That law change and House and Senate rule changes may have helped slow down lawmaking.

When legislators finished their regular session Thursday, they had ratified 79 bills. That's less than the 114 they'd passed in 2009 as the last 2-year General Assembly finished its first regular session.

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