Utah lawmaker moves to further limit media access to lawmakers at Capitol


The measure is almost similar to a guidelines decision accredited by Utah Senate Republicans final week.

Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune Stephanie Burdick of Salt Lake Metropolis units up a gathering for Thursday with Rep. Jim Dunnigan, R-Taylorsville, who voted in opposition to SB96 in the course of the Home Enterprise and Labor Committee vote, Feb. 6, 2019.

A Taylorsville Republican filed a guidelines decision on Thursday to restrict media entry to lawmakers on the Home ground — an identical measure accredited by Utah Senate Republicans final week.

The measure, HR2, sponsored by state Rep. James Dunnigan, would require credentialed reporters to get the permission of the Home of Representatives speaker or the speaker’s “designee” to “conduct and file” interviews with lawmakers within the Home chamber, gallery, lounge, halls and committee rooms.

HR2 would additionally forestall journalists from standing behind a committee room dais with out the approval of a committee chair. Photographers and videographers have typically stood behind the dais throughout committee hearings to seize the face of a person who’s testifying for or in opposition to a invoice.

Moreover, the proposed guidelines decision says journalists would wish to get approval from the Home speaker to enter Home committee rooms, based on the measure’s textual content. Alexa Roberts, a spokesperson for the Utah Home, clarified that media entry to Home committee rooms wouldn’t change as “committee rooms are public areas.”

“After all committee hearings are open to the general public, we stream them for the general public to take part in,” Home Speaker Brad Wilson informed reporters on Friday. “There was some query round the place we’re placing cameras and the disruption that happens typically in committee hearings. In order that’s one of many issues we’ve been attempting to work by way of.”

If handed, the hassle would change the way in which reporters have communicated with lawmakers at Utah’s Capitol.

Dunnigan didn’t instantly reply to a request for touch upon Thursday night.

“When conducting an interview within the Home chamber, the information media could enter the chamber for the aim of conducting a particular interview and shall exit the chamber promptly after finishing the interview,” based on the proposed rule change.

The measure is almost similar to a guidelines decision accredited by Utah Senate Republicans final week. State Sen. Mike McKell, R-Spanish Fork, who sponsored that laws, beforehand mentioned the measure would set up clear guidelines over media entry and deal with safety considerations within the Senate.

HR2 is about to be introduced on Monday throughout a Home Guidelines Committee assembly.

As a result of it’s a guidelines decision, the measure would solely require a two-thirds vote from the Home of Representatives to move.

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