Utah Capitol Reopens For In-Person Legislature Participation After Protest Concerns Fade

Jan 25, 2021, 2:34 PM | Updated: 2:48 pm

The Utah National Guard secures the Utah Capitol on Jan. 17, 2021 (KSL TV)...

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Capitol reopened Monday to allow in-person public participation in the new Utah Legislature session.

The Capitol was closed ahead of President Joe Biden’s inauguration because of the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, and possible protests that were planned at the capitol complex.

“The past year has taught us to be flexible and adaptable,” said House Speaker Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville. “While we initially only allowed for virtual public participation, we now look forward to the public rejoining us in person. We will continue to adapt to whatever is thrown our way. The health and safety of our lawmakers, staff and the public will continue to be the top priority.”

However, few protesters showed up at the Capitol in Salt Lake City which was secured by Utah Highway Patrol, the Utah National Guard and other law enforcement agencies. There were no incidents reported.

Security Increases At State Capitol Ahead Of Inauguration

As the building reopened Monday morning, officials said state troopers were stationed at each of the four public entrances and committee meetings for security purposes.

Wearing face masks and physical distancing measures are being enforced due to the continued threat posed by the spread of COVID-19.

“The health and safety of all Utahns remain our number one priority as we accommodate in-person attendance at the Capitol,” said Senate President J. Stuart Adams, R-Layton, in a statement. “Public input is essential in maintaining the legislative process and steps were quickly taken to ensure in-person public participation and proper health and safety measures. We hope Utahns will continue to provide their valuable feedback and utilize the virtual or in-person option.”

All committee meetings and legislative floor debates are available for remote viewing on the legislature’s website.

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Utah Capitol Reopens For In-Person Legislature Participation After Protest Concerns Fade