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Groups ask Iowa Senate leaders to give reporters more access

Reporters were initially barred from the floor as a COVID precaution, but the Senate voted to continue to keep media in the gallery in 2022.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Editor's note: The above video is from Jan. 10.

Free press advocates pushed Iowa Senate leaders to change a policy that removed reporters from the Senate floor for the first time in more than 100 years and moved them to a second-floor public gallery where they can’t interact with lawmakers. 

League of Women Voters of Iowa President Terese Grant said limiting the access of reporters to senators also limits the fundamental right of the citizens of Iowa to have firsthand knowledge of the governmental process. 

The organization and others, including the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa and the Iowa Capitol Press Association, held the press conference to highlight action by Republican Senate leaders to remove reporters from the chamber’s floor, where they had greater access to legislators.

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