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Click Above to Hear Interview with Senator Minority Leader Vi Simpson. Runs 17 Minutes ©2011 WTLC/Radio One. Indiana is sharply restricting public access to the State Capitol Building and to meeting with legislators and other state officials.  Senator Minority Leader Vi Simpson blasted the restrictions in an interview on Afternoons with Amos.

Simpson and Democrats are livid over the announcement by Indiana Government officials of measures designed to curb the number of members of the public admitted to the historic State Capitol Building in the heart of downtown Indianapolis.

Beginning January 1, no more than 1,500 members of the public can occupy State Capitol corridors, offices or meeting rooms. This includes those attending publc hearings, testifiying before legislative committees, observing the legislature, attending public events or taking tours.  Exempt from the restrictions are lobbyists, legislators and employees of government offices and courts.

The new policies were put in place in the wake of thousands of protestors earlier this year protesting proposed Right to Work legislation. The legislation will be debated again in January.

Democratic legislative leaders are livid. “This is an unnecessary restriction on Hoosiers’ rights to peacefully assemble and to petition their government”, said Sen. Vi Simpson (D) Senate Minority Leader.

“This is the Indiana Statehouse. It is not the House of Lords or the House of Kings”, said Rep. Pat Bauer (D) House Minority Leader, “The people’s Statehouse is no more”.

Democratic legislative leaders are demanding Gov. Mitch Daniels rescind the rules which will choke off most groups, of all political persuasions, from protesting or lobbying legislators during the upcoming three month legislative session.