Governor Holcomb closes the Indiana Statehouse for safety causes previous to the inauguration
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (WLFI) – Governor Eric Holcomb is temporarily closing the Indiana Statehouse and suspending all legislative activities for safety reasons. He is one of several state governors taking this step to protect state capitals from violent protests that could occur prior to the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday.
Governor Holcomb said in a press release that the statehouse will close on Tuesday and Wednesday. Senate Pro Temp Rodric Bray and House Speaker Todd Huston have canceled all legislative activities for the week of January 18.
Demonstrations in the state capitals are expected in several states from Sunday. The FBI and the governor’s office said officials had not received credible threats against the statehouse.
Governor Holcomb said the following in his statement:
“The safety of our government employees and the hoosiers who use our government services is always our top priority. After an evaluation with security officers, we decided to play it safe and close the state government complex to the public. Hoosiers can continue to access key government services online, by phone, or in person at branches across the state.
Senator Alting said the Statehouse has people of all ages and professions, and it’s about protecting them all.
“For the safety of my colleagues and friends, even more than myself, I support the closure and I think it was a wise decision by the leadership and the governor,” he said.
Governor Holcomb announced on Wednesday that he had given approval 625 Indiana National Guard soldiers to go to Washington DC. They will be there from Saturday to Friday to help with security. They are about to join 20,000 more soldiers of the National Guard in the nation’s capital.
Senator Alting said he was disappointed that the state will have to devote time and resources to keeping the statehouse safe when Hoosiers sees so many challenges that they should work on solving.
“We should focus on speeding up COVID vaccinations, we should focus on the economy and get people back to work, compassionate for the homeless out there who have lost their homes and those types solve problems. “he said.” We shouldn’t focus on closing a statehouse or sending our military to Washington DC. We have major challenges in all 50 states and we should really work on them. It’s a bloody shame and I am very disappointed that we have to do this “act on what we do in this country and in Indiana.”
The Indiana Legislature has much to do in this session. It is a Budget year, You need to Redraw all Indiana county lines and they have many major issues to deal with, from COVID-19 to public education funding. Senator Alting said he was confident they could raise anything during this session, which officially ends on April 29th.
He hopes the nation will take a moment on Monday to reflect on its values for Martin Luther King Jr. Day and that we can get back on a positive and productive path in 2021.
“Let’s go to Martin Luther King Jr. Day and see what this great man stood for and what he practiced,” he said. “A man who did not support violence, who believed that when you protest, you protest peacefully and respectfully.