The policy restricted the Indiana Statehouse’s capacity. A 3,000 person cap took effect at the start of the New Year. There are approximately 1,700 statehouse employees, therefore only leaving 1,300 additional spots available.
Outside the Indiana Statehouse Wednesday, hundreds of opponents to propose the Right to Work legislation lined up in the cold for the opening day of the General Assembly.
Daniels said the policy may be re-evaluated if crowds create any disruptive incidents.
Nancy Guyett, president of the Indiana AFL-CIO, said the governor’s decision was “good news for all Hoosiers.” Guyett attributes the defeat of last year’s Right to Work legislation in part to the throngs of opponents who crowded the statehouse during the last General Assembly.
House Speaker Brian Bosma supported the governor’s decision to restore traditional practices for entering the Statehouse and said the Right to Work legislation will be a legislative priority of the current General Assembly.
“After conferring with the Governor’s office this morning regarding access to the Statehouse, I fully support the Governor in removing the cap on public access to the Statehouse," said Bosma. “There is a fine balance between public access and public safety, and we need to assure that both of these issues are met. I am pleased that we have decided to open up the Statehouse and err on the side of public access. Without the public, we don’t have a democracy.”
Indiana Senate Democratic Leader Vi Simpson (D-Ellettsville) released the following statement Wednesday:
“This is great news for the people of Indiana. The Statehouse and access to elected officials should always be open to everyday people, not just the elite and paid lobbyists.
“Senate Democrats called on the governor Friday to rescind the new policy, and in agreeing to do so he made a rational decision today.
“We are pleased that the governor has conceded that Hoosiers’ constitutional rights trump unfounded fears and discomfort with the voices of dissent.”