Gov. Lifts Restrictions On Statehouse Access
Protestors and others wait in line outside the
Indiana Statehouse prior to Wednesday’s
beginning of the 2012 session.
(Indianapolis, Ind.) – A move that irked Democrats and protestors at the Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis was lifted Wednesday morning by Governor Mitch Daniels.
Last week, the Indiana State Police and other state agencies decided to set a limit of 3,000 people inside the statehouse at anytime. That limit included the roughly 1,700 lawmakers and staff who are regularly in the building.
ISP Superintendent Paul Whitesell said the move – motivated by 2011’s crowded union demonstrations in the Statehouse – was made to ensure public safety.
House Speaker Pat Bauer (D-South Bend) accused Republican leaders of trying to silence opponents. People would not be able to speak directly with lawmakers outside of the House and Senate chambers.
Gov. Mitch Daniels held a news conference Wednesday morning to announce that traditional rules on access at the statehouse will apply. Daniels wants to show respect for all views and err on the side of openness, the Indianapolis Star reported.
Hundreds of people were gathering outside the statehouse as lawmakers made final preparations before beginning the 2012 legislative session Wednesday.
Reporters noticed an increased police presence inside the statehouse compared to past sessions.