Kansas Closes Buildings Around Statehouse Through Wednesday

Jan 19, 2021

TOPEKA — State office buildings around the Kansas Statehouse and state social services offices in Topeka and Kansas City, Kansas, are closed to the public Tuesday and Wednesday because of security concerns ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.

Gov. Laura Kelly's decision to close state office buildings near the Statehouse came after her office restricted access and increased security at the Statehouse through this week. Those steps followed an FBI warning about possible armed protests in Washington and state capitols.

The FBI warning came after a violent mob on Jan. 6 stormed the U.S. Capitol and interrupted Congress' certification of President Donald Trump's election loss. Officials had worried about an armed protest Sunday at the Statehouse but it did not materialize.

Biden is scheduled to be inaugurated on Wednesday in Washington, D.C.

Kelly said the closings include the three largest office buildings for state agencies near the Statehouse.

The state Department for Children and Families announced that it was closing its service centers in Topeka and Kansas City, Kansas, both days as well.

And state Supreme Court Chief Justice Marla Luckert announced that the Kansas Judicial Center also would be closed Tuesday and Wednesday over security concerns.

The Kansas Legislature was still meeting at the Statehouse, but neither chamber was expect to take up significant business Tuesday or Wednesday.