Indiana got its first taste of the new limits on protest at the Statehouse, and they didn’t like it. With the legislature set to take up an anti-union bill today, state administrators had capped the number of non-employees who could be in the building at about 1,300.
Mary Beth Schneider reports in the Indianapolis Star today that the rules meant most people would have to wait to wait in line, with notable exceptions:
Those folks include not just government employees, but lobbyists, reporters, anyone attending a special event such as a school tour or today’s prayer day, anyone with an appointment or court hearing, and anyone whom a legislator has told State Police to let in, such as people the lawmaker wants to testify for a bill.
Ms. Schneider arrived on the scene today to find enough state troopers to make the Statehouse look like “an armed fortress.” She tweeted, “More police than I recall ever seeing anywhere. Are hoosier citIzens really that frightening?”
A few minutes later, she reported that Governor Mitch Daniels had rescinded the policy. Governor Daniels said traditional rules on access to the Capitol will apply, and if the situation gets hairy, police can react then, she reports. “Gov says state respects rights of minority and fewer than 9 percent are union,” she tweets.
Indiana blinked, much the way Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker did over his new rules restricting protest at the Capitol.