New Safety Rules Limit Indiana Statehouse Capacity To 3,000

The AFL-CIO says the new rule could limit public access to the statehouse.

Indiana Statehouse

Photo: Emily Penguin (Flickr)

The number of people allowed in the statehouse is being limited starting January 1, according to new safety measures.

The Indiana statehouse is implementing new safety procedures beginning January 1. At a press conference Friday morning, members of Governor Mitch Daniel’s administration said no more than 3,000 people will be allowed in the statehouse at once.

“Public safety is our primary concern as we work to facilitate the most possible accessibility to the state capitol and the legislative process while ensuring, at the same time, the safest possible environment,” State Police Superintendent Paul Whitesell said in a press release.

Because roughly 1,700 state employees work in the statehouse each day, according to State Police Superintendent Paul Whitesell, only 1,000 to 1,500 members of the public would be allowed inside at any given time. The measures also include a limit on outside protests to the south lawn.

The AFL-CIO expressed its disapproval in an email sent out Friday afternoon. It said the government is trying to limit public access and keep out individuals who disapprove of its policies.

“For generations Hoosiers have been welcomed to the Indiana Statehouse where they could speak directly to their elected representatives about legislative matters that impact their daily lives,” AFL-CIO President Nancy Guyott said. “But with this decision by the Daniels’ administration, it is the people’s house no more.”

The rules are being implemented in conjunction with the Indiana State Fire Marshall’s Office, the Indiana Department of Administration, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, and the Indiana State Police.

Network Indiana contributed to this report.

Gretchen Frazee

Gretchen Frazee is a reporter/producer for WFIU and WTIU news. Prior to her current role, Frazee worked as the associate online content coordinator for WFIU/WTIU. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia where she studied multimedia journalism and anthropology. You can follow her on Twitter @gretchenfrazee.

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