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After Rallies, 3 Signs of Ramped Up Security on Capitol Grounds

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

In the wake of last week and yesterday's rallies at the Capitol, the security detail under the dome has made some distinct changes to deal with large scale protests as the second special session begins.

  • A noticeable change is the line of barriers that circles the rotunda. The Texas Department of Public Safety has limited protesters to the space near the rotunda's walls to clear the central path for those milling around the Capitol on business.
  • Stairwells have also been given the rope treatment to clear a lane on one side for "emergency egress," according to several signs around the Capitol.
  • In addition, dozens of extra DPS officers have been called in to monitor the Capitol grounds and the galleries, including officers on horseback on the Capitol lawn for Monday's abortion rights rally.

This, of course, comes in response to the boisterous protest last week that overwhelmed lawmakers' efforts to pass the controversial abortion bill.

Demonstrations will undoubtedly continue today, as the House Committee on State Afairs will hear testimony on HB 2, a bill that seeks to increase abortion regulation in Texas. That committee meeting will start at 3:30 this afternoon, with public testimony set to end at midnight.

I'm a freelance writer for the Austin American Statesman and others.
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