The Statehouse security policy that caused public outcry and concerns that it would limit public access to state government lasted less than one morning.
Gov. Mitch Daniels rescinded the policy at 10:45 a.m. Wednesday, saying he would "restore the traditional unlimited access" to the building.
The "anything goes" policy that he said has made Indiana's Statehouse one of the most open in the nation will continue for "as long as it works," Daniels said.
[. . .]
But Daniels said he made the decision to abandon the rules Wednesday morning after consulting with legislative leaders and taking into consideration public reaction. Many people -- including lawmakers in both parties and members of the media -- had expressed alarm that the new policy allowed lobbyists and reporters to enter, while potentially keeping members of the public out if the 3,000 limit was reached.
OK, there are bound to be security concerns if thousands of union protestors keep showing up, and officials don't have to let them prevent state business from being conducted. But those issues, as the governor suggests, should be dealt with if and when they arise. A blanket policy limiting access -- especially a two-tiered system that makes some Hoosiers feel they have fewer rights than others -- isn't exactly going to inspire our confidence in the state's commitment to open and transparent government. Besides, if Democrats don't attend any more often than they did last year (looking like a real possibility), it shouldn't be all that crowded anyway.