Gov. Eric Holcomb has announced he is closing the Statehouse for part of next week “to err on the side of caution” as the FBI has warned that potentially violent protests could take place at all state capitols over the next several days leading up to the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
Holcomb announced the Statehouse and the adjacent state office complex will be closed to the public Tuesday and Wednesday in addition to the closure already set for the weekend and Monday, which is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
As part of the closure, leaders of the Indiana General Assembly have canceled all legislative activity for next week. Staff will work remotely and all floor sessions and committee hearings have been postponed.
Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray said the decision was made, in part, at the urging of Indiana State Police Doug Carter.
“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,” said Sen. Rodric Bray, R-Martinsville, in a statement.
“This decision was made out of caution and in the best interest of everyone involved in the legislative process,” House Speaker Todd Huston, R-Fishers, said in a statement. “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.”
According to a release from the governor’s office, there have been no credible threats made against the Statehouse.
The governor has also moved his weekly press briefing from Wednesday afternoon to Thursday afternoon and will give his annual State of the State address virtually on Tuesday evening instead of delivering it from the Statehouse.
“The safety and security of our state employees and the Hoosiers who use our state services are always top of mind,” Holcomb said in a statement. “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.”