INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Gov. Eric Holcomb on Friday announced the closure of the Indiana Statehouse and state government buildings to the public early next week, citing recent national events.
Holcomb made the decision in consultation with security officials and the General Assembly.
“The safety and security of our state employees and the Hoosiers who use our state services are always top of mind,” Gov. Holcomb said in a press release sent to News 8. “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.”
The announcement comes after the FBI warned this week that there were plans for armed protests at all 50 state capitals after a riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 turned deadly.
Indianapolis authorities on Friday said there had not been any specific and substantiated threats to the Indiana Statehouse or other government buildings in the state.
Indiana Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray and Indiana House Speaker Todd Huston canceled legislative activity next week and instructed staff members to work remotely until they are told to return in-person.
“This decision was made out of caution and in the best interest of everyone involved in the legislative process,” Huston said in a press release. “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.”
Bray added that the safety of every person at the Statehouse is priority.
The Statehouse will be closed as usual Monday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Holcomb is also set to virtually deliver his 2021 State of the State address Tuesday at 7 p.m. Further details about the address will be released at a later date.
“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.”Senate Democratic Leader Greg Taylor, an Indianapolis Democrat