Gov. Kelly closes three state office buildings, limits Capitol access for two days

Supreme Court’s chief justice shuts down nearby Judicial Center

Gov. Laura Kelly said access to the Kansas Capitol will be limited and state workers at three office buildings near the Capitol will be asked to work remotely Tuesday and Wednesday. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)
Gov. Laura Kelly said access to the Kansas Capitol will be limited and state workers at three office buildings near the Capitol will be asked to work remotely Tuesday and Wednesday. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

TOPEKA — Three major state office buildings in the Capitol Complex will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday as a precaution against disruptive behavior, Gov. Laura Kelly said Monday.

She said in a statement state employees working in the Curtis, Landon and Eisenhower office buildings in Topeka should attempt to perform their duties remotely. Individuals unable to work from home have been told not to report to work on those two days.

“The safety and well-being of our employees is my top priority,” Kelly said. “These steps are taken out of an abundance of caution. I thank all employees for their patience and understanding during this time.”

Kelly didn’t identify a specific threat, but concerns has persisted following the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol about potential unrest in state capitals in conjunction with inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden in Washington, D.C.

The governor’s statement said the statehouse in Topeka would be open for people with business before the Kansas Legislature or personnel in offices of the governor or lieutenant governor. Both the House and Senate are scheduled to convene on both days.

Secondary entrances to the Capitol will be locked for at least Tuesday and Wednesday. Access to the building will be limited to the Visitor Center entrance on the north side of the building.

Meanwhile, Kansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Marla Luckert announced that the Kansas Judicial Center south of the Capitol would be closed Tuesday and Wednesday consistent with actions taken by the governor.

Luckert said the action was designed to protect the safety of people working at offices of the state’s Supreme Court and Kansas Court of Appeals and individuals with business in the building.

Officials at the Kansas Department for Children and Families said the Topeka and Kansas City, Kansas, service centers would be closed to the public Tuesday and Wednesday.

In-person contact won’t be possible on those days at DCF, but people applying for food, cash or child-care assistance may do so online at www.dcf.ks.gov. DCF clients can call 1-888-369-4777 to speak with a DCF worker. If someone suspects abuse or neglect, call the Kansas Protection Report Center at 1-800-922-5330.