Panel recommends more security guards at Capitol; no metal detectors

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A state task force is advising the Legislature to beef up security at the Capitol.

The panel headed by Lieutenant Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon finalized its recommendations and forwarded its report to lawmakers Monday.

The suggestions favor improving security by adding people, rather than relying more on technology. The number of state troopers and other security guards in the Capitol and nearby state buildings would increase from 42 to 79. Metal detectors are not among the recommendations. But Prettner Solon tells the Star Tribune weapons screening should be part of a tighter level of security the Capitol could move to temporarily whenever there is a threat.

The task force did not address the cost of the improvements or how they should be funded. At the moment, money may be tighter than security at the Capitol. Lawmakers will confront a budget deficit of more than $1 billion when the new session convenes Tuesday.

Representatives of the Legislature and Supreme Court were part of the task force, whose final report differed little from a draft that was revealed in late November.

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