Action delayed on Indiana Statehouse security upgrade

(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A Pence Administration plan to spend $873,000 dollars on Statehouse security was put on hold Friday.

The Pence Administration has been instructed to supply lawmakers with more details about the motivation for new security measures as well as the plans to implement them.

A scheduled vote at a State Budget Committee meeting in West Lafayette was postponed because members don’t feel they know enough about how the money would be spent.

They were told that it would go for new doors on the Statehouse and surrounding buildings. Those doors would incorporate turnstiles and permit just one person to enter at a time.

Pence aide John Hill said that the money would pay for other measures as well and that part of the concern has to do with the encouragement of lone wolf attacks by ISIS.

“There are young people who are being inspired by foreign terrorists to do these kind of things,” said Hill. “And I can tell you there are people in the state that we need to be concerned about and we need to be sure about the security of our buildings.”

Senator Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville) said he’s concerned about how security measures would affect the historic nature of the Statehouse.

He also questioned whether judges who work in the Statehouse were consulted about the plan.

“You say, well, we can talk to you but if we talk to you we’re giving the ideas to the bad guy,” he said to Hill, “so the inference is we’re just supposed to rubber stamp what you say is the right security procedure and I’m a little uncomfortable with that suggestion.”

The plan is now on hold until at least October. That’s when the budget committee meets again.

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