ST. PAUL -- The temporary security fence around Minnesota’s Capitol will start to come down on June 1, the agency that manages the building said Tuesday.
Curt Yoakum, a spokesman for the Department of Administration, said it will take crews several days to remove the chain-link fence held up by concrete barriers. Temporary fencing has been up for about a year at a cost of thousands of dollars per month in rental fees.
The barrier went up in the aftermath of George Floyd’s killing, when massive protests and upheaval raised concern about landmarks being vandalized.
The Capitol itself has been closed for longer in conjunction with COVID-19 precautions. Officials are still deciding when those access restrictions will be lifted.
House Speaker Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn Park, said she supports inviting the public back in.
“To have members of the public here in this building making lots of noise while we’re doing our work is how it’s supposed to be,” she said Monday.
- What got done — and what didn't — during Minnesota's 2021 legislative session
- Minnesota leaders strike budget deal, start gearing up for special session
- Minnesota House casts vote to legalize recreational marijuana for adult use
Hortman noted that the building’s multiple tenants need to be in agreement.
“The House, the Senate and the Department of Administration make these decisions together,” she said. “But I would be surprised if we aren’t all on the same page, especially considering the CDC announcement recently and the governor’s reaction to that announcement.”
Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-East Gull Lake, said he also wants normal access restored to what he described as “the people’s house” as soon as possible.
“I’m looking forward to the day this building is open,” he said Monday. “It feels like we’re close to back to normal and that’s what we’re looking forward to.”
The Legislature will be back for a June special session, most likely in the middle of the month.