Governor rescinds Indiana Statehouse restrictions

INDIANAPOLIS - Gov. Mitch Daniels on Wednesday rescinded new security restrictions placed at the Indiana Statehouse that would have limited maximum capacity to 3,000 people.

The cap had been expected to see its first test Wednesday with a labor union protest on the opening day of this year's legislative session against a push by majority Republicans to approve a "right-to-work" proposal.

Daniels said he made the decision to reverse the restrictions after getting input from the public.

Republican Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman said Tuesday that the limit was based on public safety concerns.

Unions and Democratic legislators have called the limit a move by Daniels' administration to stifle debate.

At a contentious news conference Tuesday, state police and the state fire marshal defended the stricter security measures.

Statehouse security measures will return to previous levels.

Daniels said he concluded that the Statehouse is a special place and that critics of the policy, including Democrats, made good points.

The restrictions would have limited public access to the building to one entrance, put elevator banks off limits to all but lawmakers and added to the list of prohibited items.

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