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Indiana state government complex to close 'out of an abundance of caution'

Indiana Statehouse.jpg
Posted at 5:14 PM, Jan 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-15 18:56:59-05

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana state government complex will be closed to the public on Tuesday and Wednesday "out of an abundance of caution."

Gov. Eric Holcomb made the announcement on Friday in light of the riot at the U.S. Capitol, threats to other state capitols and COVID-19 restrictions.

According to the governor's office, there have been no credible threats against the Indiana Statehouse.

As is usual for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day observance, the Statehouse will be closed for the weekend and on Monday.

The governor's office also announced that the governor will virtually deliver his 2021 State of the State address on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

"The safety and security of our state employees and the Hoosiers who use our state services are always top of mind," Holcomb said. "After an evaluation with public safety leaders, we have decided to err on the side of caution and close the state government complex to the public. Hoosiers will still be able to access essential state services online, on the phone, or in-person at branches around the state."

According to the governor's office, Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray and House Speaker Todd Huston have canceled legislative activity next week. Both said no committee or session meetings will be held and staff will work remotely until instructed to return to the building.

"This decision was made out of caution and in the best interest of everyone involved in the legislative process," Huston said. "Public gatherings are a critical component of our democracy, and I pray that any demonstrations are peaceful and respectful of the incredible privilege we all have as Americans to make our voices heard."

"We have a lot of work to do this session on behalf of Hoosiers, but the safety of every person in the Statehouse is always our number one priority," Bray said. "We trust Superintendent Doug Carter and his team, and at his urging, made the decision to cancel our activities out of an abundance of caution."

Senate Democratic Leader Greg Taylor, D-Indianapolis, issued the following statement on behalf of the Senate Democratic Caucus:

We appreciate the hard work of Indiana State Police and other police departments around the state for working together to keep everybody safe during this tense time.

I support this decision to close the statehouse next week. We must remember that our primary concern is providing a safe environment for the dedicated staff who work in that building, the public who uses the statehouse to make their voices heard and the reporters who keep us all informed.

However, I would be remiss to not acknowledge that this is a sad day for Indiana and America as elected officials cannot complete the work those who elected us sent us here to do. This nation needs to heal, and we must quickly get back to working on behalf of Hoosiers across the state.

Despite the partisanship and deadlock in our nation's capital, here in Indiana, the Senate Democrats will continue to work with our colleagues across the aisle to stand for every Hoosier. It's imperative that both parties put aside partisanship to make sure those who are struggling right now get the help they deserve.

We hope every Hoosier can come together in the name of progress and equal rights for all.