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Statehouse reporters balk at closed meetings

AP

Associated Press Statehouse reporter John Hanna is receiving kudos for refusing to leave a meeting about the state budget. Hanna was on his way to his office in the Capitol on Monday when he glanced through the window of a conference room and saw Gov. Sam Brownback’s budget director addressing 27 GOP lawmakers. Hanna stepped inside the room and stood in the back. A lawmaker told Hanna that it was a private meeting and he wasn’t invited. Hanna crossed his arms and responded that he wanted to hear what the budget director had to say. The lawmakers eventually relented. Ron Fournier of the National Journal praised Hanna for not backing down and said that Washington, D.C., reporters should learn from him. Earlier this session, members of the press corps including Hanna and Eagle reporter Bryan Lowry refused to take part in an off-the-record briefing with GOP budget leaders. – Phillip Brownlee

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