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Media Access To House Floor Restored

AP Photo/Ryan VanVelzer

Republicans in the Arizona House of Representatives have stopped a Democratic effort to change rules about journalists' access to the chamber.

It comes as the GOP House speaker allowed journalists who refused to submit to extensive background checks back on the floor. Last week, Speaker David Gowan had banned reporters who refused to comply with new security rules requiring extensive criminal and civil background checks.

Many in the Democratic caucus strongly opposed the move.

Democratic Rep. Diego Espinoza proposed a rule Tuesday severely limiting when reporters could be denied access to the House floor, but it failed on a 24-34 vote. No Republicans supported it.

Gowan said the checks were needed after several disruptions in public areas in the House and the Capitol. It forced journalists to report from the public gallery.

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