Reporters can resume using recording devices in Assembly chambers, Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez said today.
The Bee's Jim Sanders wrote in today's Bee that Assembly sergeants-at-arms recently began confronting credentialed reporters who were recording or videotaping official business.
Assembly leaders in late July sought to reinforce old rules on the books, ranging from a dress code requiring women to wear a coat or sweater to enter the chamber to a rule allowing reporters to record only when granted permission.
The Assembly already suspended the dress code rule amid controversy, and Pérez has now directed sergeants not to enforce the recording policy.
"As I have consistently said, the public's business should be done in the most public way," Pérez said. "I am directing that media use of tape recorders in the Assembly chambers be allowed to continue as it routinely has been."
Majority Leader Charles Calderon, D-Whittier, told Sanders he wanted better enforcement of existing Assembly rules to "bring more predictability and more stability to how the house runs."
Disallowing routine tape recording of legislative conversations or floor debate does not necessarily inhibit the media, Calderon said.
"I don't think so, because there was a time that reporters didn't have tape recorders - and they used to be able to report. I think reporters are professionals, and they're pretty good at their craft."