After more than 160 years of no searches at entrances to the Statehouse, visitors will soon have to open up their bags when walking in. A law stepping up Statehouse security passed two years ago, but the changes the law required are finally being put into place. Luke Stedke speaks for the agency that manages the Statehouse grounds, and says the new measures strike a careful balance.
"The right of an individual to petition his or her government for address or grievances is fundamental in our republic, and at the Statehouse, it's a fine line that we have to walk," says Stedke. "So it's still an open door policy, it's just a more secure door”
Though the law was passed in 2011, the security changes were voted in just recently. The Broad Street entrance to the Statehouse has been closed, and new checkpoints have been installed at the remaining open entrances. And the cameras monitored by state troopers that were installed in the Statehouse renovation of 1996 are being upgraded. The security changes are expected to cost around $2 million.