Located in a side room off the Legislative Services Division's main office, the eight proofreaders sit at long tables lined with computers. They check each bill to make sure the language aligns with existing state law, and also watch out for grammar, spelling and punctuation mistakes.
Frances Goad, the office's chief proofreader, has worked at the part-time job for 31 years. She said she returns session after session because she likes her co-workers and enjoys the proofreading.
With the proofreaders' job completed, the bill goes back to its original drafter for review. If they sign off on it, the bill makes its way to Homburg's desk for his stamp of approval. He then sends the bill to its sponsors in the Legislature. Then, the sponsors submit the completed bill to the House or Senate clerk's office.
Nearly 800 bills have already passed through Legislative Services this legislative session. Many of those bills were completed long before members of the 81st Legislature arrived in Charleston.
Homburg said the office usually begins work on bills in December trying to get as many bills as possible through the system before the Legislature convenes.
"They can hit the ground running," he said.
Homburg's staff more than doubles in size in the months leading to a legislative session.
The office employs five permanent attorneys, including Homburg. During the legislative off-season, they work as legal counsel for Capitol offices, giving legal opinions and performing research.
He brings on four additional attorneys during the run-up to each year's session, plus the office's eight-person proofreading staff.
The amount of time required to draft a bill depends on its complexity and the number of bills already going through the office.
Bills requested by the governor's office get special privileges, heading straight to the front of the line. Complicated pieces of legislation introduced by rank-and-file lawmakers sometimes take three days or longer to produce, however.
In the end, much of the work performed by Homburg's staff is in vain.
Despite all the hours of research and proofreading, the vast majority of bills produced by the office will not make it into the law books. Most will quietly die in committees, while others are subjected to a slower and more tortuous death on the chamber floors.
It doesn't bother Homburg. Years ago, a bill passed through his office that made all the staffers snicker. He said he can't remember the details of the legislation, other than it seemed strange.
"Daggone, it's law today," Homburg said. "You never know which one it's going to be.
"It's democracy in action; everybody gets their shot at putting their idea in."