By Associated Press - Wednesday, August 12, 2015

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - A proposal scheduled to go before Indiana lawmakers later this week would spend nearly $875,000 on new doors for the Indiana Statehouse.

Gov. Mike Pence’s Indiana Department of Administration wants the money because officials say they’re worried about security issues regarding six doors that let government employees enter and exit the statehouse. Officials are concerned that the doors allow multiple people to enter the building if an employee, reporter, legislator, lobbyist or contractor unlocks one of them with his or her badge and holds it open for others as a courtesy.

To resolve the potential security issues, the new doors would have a turnstile so only one person could go through at a time.

“The new doors will increase safety and decrease unauthorized access to the Statehouse,” according to the budget committee agenda.

But it’s unclear what has prompted the concerns, as officials haven’t fully explained why the additional security is necessary. The Indiana State Police has said it’s not aware of any specific threats of concerns.

“Our Statehouse and government center complex are working buildings. We recognize people need access into these buildings and we are very cognizant of the delicate balance between access and security,” said Jessica Robertson, Indiana Department of Administration commissioner.

“We are pursuing the most effective and efficient solutions to position technology or security personnel at high access points of our campus. Campus safety is a daily concern and we are taking measures to ensure the buildings and the people in them are protected.”

The request for the new doors is part of an ongoing effort among multiple state agencies to improve security and reduce vulnerabilities on the government campus, which includes two other buildings, she said.

The state Department of Administration has requested $1.2 million total for security improvements, including $873,000 for the doors, leaving the remaining $327,000 available for other efforts next fiscal year.

Robertson also declined to provide further details about how the doors would work, what they would look like and how many would be purchased.

The State Budget Committee is expected to consider the request on Friday.

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