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Colorado lawmakers back off plans to fence in Capitol after outcry

Posted at 5:57 PM, Mar 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-29 19:57:37-04

DENVER — The Colorado legislature is backing off a heavily criticized plan to construct wrought-iron fencing at the state Capitol, House Speaker Alec Garnett said Monday.

“It’s important to know that we listened,” the Denver Democrat said. “We heard folks raise concerns about the plans.”

Previously, lawmakers had planned to spend more than $1 million to construct a fence around the building. It was discussed as part of a roughly $8 million project to enhance Capitol security in response to vandalism during Black Lives Matter protests last year, among other concerns.

Garnett said the legislature will now have a “public process” on this topic. He said the terms of that process have not been drawn up yet and he stopped short of committing to permanently scrapping the fence idea. But he did say the plan has been halted for now, and promised that any future talks would be accessible to the public.

“At the moment, people can feel comfortable that we pressed pause, if not stop, to allow for us to set up that process,” Garnett said. He later added, “It’s essentially a pause-slash-stop of the fence. Clearly, people have opinions on a fence, so let’s set up a process to talk about it.”

Read the full story in The Denver Post.