During my eight years as president of the Kansas Senate, I had frequent dealings with journalists who covered the Statehouse.
It wasn’t always easy. Journalists ask tough questions, and they often make their sources uncomfortable. But I knew I had an obligation to accommodate their questions and requests for information because I very much respected the role of journalists in our democracy.
Kansas Senate leadership now is restricting press access. Instead of allowing journalists on the Senate floor during the legislative session, they have been relegated to the gallery, where it would be much more difficult to closely observe the interactions, pick up on nuances and get a good feel for the direction of the debate.