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Visitors to Capitol Must Get Passes

If you visit the state capitol and want to sit in the House chamber, you'll now have to check in with a legislator first. Under a new rule, visitors to the state capitol now must get passes from their state representative before being allowed to enter the visitor galleries in the House. Two Springfield representatives are on opposing sides of the issue. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.

Representative Bob Dixon of Springfield says it's a good idea to require capitol visitors to obtain a pass from a lawmaker if they want to enter the visitor galleries.

But Representative Jim Viebrock of Republic says requiring the public to get passes from lawmakers gives the wrong impression.

He says lawmakers shouldn't create hurdles for the public.

Some lawmakers have also raised concerns that visitors from other states may not know how to go about getting access to the galleries.

But Representative Bob Dixon says the idea isn't to limit access to the House chamber.

Instead, Dixon says the goal is to make sure constituents meet their representative when they visit the capitol.

And legislative leaders say the passes make nice souvenirs for citizens who visit the capitol.