Governor and lawmakers to keep studying security

Legislative leaders and Governor Mark Dayton met today to talk about added security at Minnesota’s state Capitol after the shootings in Tucson.

They talked about a 2009 report by the state’s Legislative Auditor that outlined weak points in state government security. But lawmakers and the governor only agreed to keep talking about it.

Dayton said Minnesotans are safe in the meantime.

“There’s no way anyone can guarantee somebody complete 100 thousand percent protection in any public space,” Dayton said. “But I can assure people especially given the reality of Minnesotans and the sensibilities of our citizens that protection is secure.”

Dayton said he and legislative leaders wouldn’t rule out adding metal detectors or other measures to the Capitol. But Republican Senate majority leader Amy Koch said lawmakers want to assure easy access for the public.

“This is the people’s house,” Koch said. “We want to protect the people that work here every day. But we also want to provide free access and a welcoming atmpsphere. So this group will jbe taked with also discussing that philosophy and where we are on that spectrum.

Dayton said that a panel first suggested in 2009 would meet next week and that he hoped they would have some recommendations by some time in March.

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