A Waterloo lawmaker is questioning whether the state’s gone overboard with security measures at the capitol in Des Moines. Long-time State Representative Don Shoultz says it’s time to rethink whether metal detectors and security guards are needed, Shoultz says it’s the people’s capitol, and people are being restricted, allowing entry during specific hours and through specific doors. Shoultz says the state has spent nearly two million dollars on statehouse security in each of the past two years, and he thinks that money would have been better spent on other things.Shoultz says it doesn’t appear to him, given the threats or lack of threats to the state capitol, that such a large expenditure is necessary. But Susan Severino, who works in the statehouse, appreciates having statehouse visitors screened by officers at the entrances. She says the officers have escorted several people out of the building because of threatening behavior. Severino says before the security measures, working in the building was “often troubling” because some people were wandering around statehouse offices. State Representative Bill Dix, the Republican who is in charge of the House Appropriations Committee, defends spending nearly four million dollars in the past two years on statehouse security. Dix says “we know that terrorists target buildings like our state capitol.” Dix says lawmakers also considered the number of people who work within the building and the security the new measures provides for them.
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