California

Calif. Assembly Speaker Limits Access to Lawmakers

Will no longer be able to interview them in Assembly chambers

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As the new legislative session began yesterday, there was a quite buzz in the Assembly. But it wasn't just about the many new lawmakers. A rumor was going around that Democratic Assembly Speaker John Perez had ordered the Capitol Sergeants to prevent reporters from accessing Assembly members in chambers.

Then I saw one longtime reporter standing near the entrance to the Assembly floor, where reporters position themselves if they are waiting to speak to a lawmaker. But the Sergeant told the reporter that he could not speak to lawmakers.

"News reporters will be barred from interviewing legislators in the Assembly chambers under new rules ordered by Speaker John A. Pérez before Monday's first session of 2013," Jim Sanders of the Sacramento Bee reported. The prohibition is among several rule changes imposed by Pérez that restrict press movement within chambers during floor sessions and tighten access to legislators immediately afterward."

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