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Reporters given access to House floor again

Posted at 10:22 AM, Apr 12, 2016

In what looks to be a flip-flop of sorts, reporters covering the Arizona House of Representatives had their floor access restored on Tuesday. 

The move comes less than a week after reporters covering the House were denied access to the floor after refusing background checks. 

The short-lived rules were announced by House Speaker David Gowan (R-Sierra Vista). The background checks included criminal and civil cases, as well as other public records.

Gowan cited security concerns, but the Associated Press noted that Gowan changed the rules two months after a Arizona Capitol Times story reported that he used a state vehicle to campaign for Congress. He repaid the state more than $12,000.

Gowan denied that his decision had anything to do with the negative press coverage. 

"The safety and security of the employees and members who work in the building remain a priority for the Speaker and leadership. We hope that you will work with us as we continue to implement the new security protocols. The rules of decorum remain in place, and it is our hope that those will continue to be followed," House Republican spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said in a statement.