8-year-old spurs state fossil law in South Carolina
South Carolina now has an official state fossil.
Governor Nikki Haley signed a bill Tuesday that makes the Columbian Mammoth the state fossil.
The idea came from eight-year-old Olivia McConnell, who wrote a letter to Haley explaining why South Carolina needed a state fossil. She pointed out South Carolina was one of only seven states that didn't have one.
According to a press release, "[Olivia] suggested that the state's fossil should be the Columbian Mammoth, after her research revealed that mammoth teeth were first found in South Carolina in 1725."
State symbol legislation is reportedly often proposed by students working on class projects, so this one seemed easy enough to pass. Unfortunately, it wasn't, because, well, politics.
WLTX reports, its first roadblock came from a state senator, who said the state already had too many symbols.
That argument was dropped, but Senator Kevin Bryant decided to offer an amendment to the bill, saying the mammoth was created on the sixth day of creation.
He told WLTX, "I felt like it's a great creature and it would be a good time to acknowledge the Creator."
Although that passed the Senate, the House rejected the amendment. The bill then moved forward without it.
Olivia was there, next to Haley, when the bill was signed into law. She spoke at the event. "The fossil bill, it had a very good purpose. And I didn't want the history to be lost, and I had to do something about it."
The Sumter Item writes, "Olivia had the type of moment most political operatives can only dream of, drawing more media attention than many state legislators could ever hope to imagine."
The third grader is reportedly working on a children's book based on her experience, according to The Item.
We're guessing it'll be more about fossils and less about legislative roadblocks.