Indiana Legislature taking 2-day break for Super Bowl

The state Legislature plans to take a break in the days before February's Super Bowl in Indianapolis, in part because out-of-town lawmakers are losing their rooms at area hotels or long-term residences in favor of visitors for the game.

State employees who work at the Statehouse and neighboring government buildings still will be expected to be on the job at their offices just blocks from Lucas Oil Stadium.

The Legislature will be about a month into its 2012 session by the time of the Feb. 5 Super Bowl, when organizers anticipate perhaps 100,000 visitors will be in the city.

Senate President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne, said that in the week before the game legislators will meet at the Statehouse on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, then not meet on Thursday or Friday.

"Thursday is where the real surge comes," Long told The Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne. "It appears we can get our business done. We'll just put our heads down and go."

Julie Halbig, chief of staff for Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma, said lawmakers will meet during several Fridays in January, which are usually off days, to keep the session on track for a mid-March completion.

The schedule for Statehouse and government center workers isn't being changed because of the Super Bowl, said Jane Jankowski, spokeswoman for Gov. Mitch Daniels.

The government center complex and its parking garages are near several of the hotels where teams, NFL personnel and media workers will be staying — some for more than a week before the game — but Jankowski said the state will retain use of its parking garages and lots for employees.

About 6,000 garage spaces will be turned over for Super Bowl use on Saturday morning and a large surface lot will be used for bus parking.

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