Illinois State Capitol Reopens After Lockdown Triggered by Substance Thrown at Governor’s Office

The Illinois State Capitol building / Getty


The Illinois State Capitol reopened Thursday afternoon after it was placed on lockdown for multiple hours after someone threw an unidentified substance at the governor's office.

An announcement was made through the loudspeaker at 2:09 p.m. that a "total lockdown" was in effect as police investigated a "hazardous materials situation," the Chicago Tribune reported.

Illinois' Democrat-controlled legislature has been locked in a budgetary battle with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner over a proposed tax hike. Rauner vetoed the measure Tuesday, saying he preferred a temporary tax hike to the permanent one that passed the Illinois House and Senate.

But when lawmakers arrived at the State Capitol on Thursday to vote on overriding the veto, they were not allowed into the building. Police told representatives and reporters that there was a "security situation."

Journalists on the scene reported that hazmat crews had been called to the scene.

Rauner was not in the building at the time of the lockdown, according to the Tribune. His office on the second floor was roped off.

One man on the scene tweeted that the perpetuator was a female, and threw a "powdery substance."

Earlier, reporters saw a woman being taken away from the House gallery in handcuffs. It remains unclear whether the two incidents are related.

The Illinois secretary of state's office, which oversees the Capitol, said on Twitter that the Capitol building had reopened and no hazardous materials were found.

Police are continuing to investigate the situation.

Tensions over the budget fight have been high in recent days. Illinois Republicans have received death threats and even circulated a memo on how to protect themselves from potential attack, Politico reported.

The Illinois government is working to pass a budget for this year to avoid being the first state to have its bond rating downgraded to "junk" status.

This story is developing and will be updated as more information becomes available.

Alex Griswold

Alex Griswold   Email Alex | Full Bio | RSS
Alex is a staff writer at the Washington Free Beacon. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2012. Before joining the Free Beacon, he was a writer for Mediaite and The Daily Caller. He is originally from Buffalo, New York, but regrettably now lives in Washington, D.C. He can be reached at

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