Costs to fortify New Mexico Statehouse: $700,000 and growing

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Heavy security and fencing that have cordoned off the New Mexico state Capitol and adjacent streets from public access have cost taxpayers at least $700,000 in police overtime, salaries for National Guard troops, equipment rental and other special expenses.

The unprecedented security measures were instituted by legislative leaders in the Democratic majority in the aftermath of the storming of the U.S. Capitol amid warnings by the FBI about threats to legislatures.

Republican state Sen. William Sharer of Farmington says the security perimeter is an infringement on political speech as the Democratic majority pushes hot-button progressive proposals.