Bente Birkeland

Capitol Coverage Reporter

Bente Birkeland has been reporting on state legislative issues for Rocky Mountain Community Radio stations, including KVNF, since 2006. She keeps track of state politics throughout the year but is especially busy during the annual legislative session from January through early May, covering important bills, discussions, and the positions of our state legislators. Key stories for KVNF listeners she has covered this year include the state budget, proposed oil and gas legislation, and the passage of the Cottage Foods Act.

Pages

NPR Story
10:02 am
Mon June 9, 2014

At Recent GOP Governor Candidate Debate, Only Kopp And Beauprez Show

Only two out of four candidates showed up for a recent GOP Governer candidate debate. Pictured Mike Kopp and Bob Beauprez.
Bente Birkeland RMCR

Originally published on Mon June 9, 2014 6:41 am

Four Republicans are vying to be the lone candidate to run against Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper in the fall. But with the primary election coming up June 24, only two of the candidates participated in a taped debate hosted by CBS 4 and Colorado Public Television.

Debate organizers knew ahead of time that former congressman Tom Tancredo never planned to be a part of the hourlong program. But Secretary of State Scott Gessler didn’t show up – even though his campaign confirmed that he would.

Read more
NEWS
9:13 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Brand Colorado Slowly Gaining Steam

John Scaggs with Haystack Mountain Goat Dairystands beside aging cheese. Scaggs' company has started using the state's new Colorado branding.
Bente Birkeland RMCR

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 5:16 pm

More and more companies are starting to use the new Colorado logo and slogan - “it’s our nature” - to promote their products, helping the state's efforts to strengthen its brand and global competitiveness. The branding effort though has been somewhat controversial and it will take some time to determine its success.

Read more
NEWS
9:42 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Governor Hickenlooper Signs Stricter Pot Regulations

Governor John Hickenlooper signs House Bill 1361 to create an equivalency between marijuana that is smoked, and marijuana in a concentrate form that is vaporized.
Bente Birkeland RMCR

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 6:57 am

Governor John Hickenlooper signed two measures into law Wednesday, both aimed at tightening rules around marijuana edibles and concentrates. One goal is to make sure young children don’t accidentally ingest the drug.

Read more
NEWS
2:58 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Colorado Democrats Strike Down Background Check Repeal

Jim Hill KUNC

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 10:56 am

The gun debate that riveted the state capitol in 2013, once again took center stage Monday. Fewer people came to the capitol to testify on a key gun bill than the last round, but emotions were still strong.

Read more
NEWS
9:54 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Later Bar Hours On Tap At The Colorado Capitol

Barkeep and patrons enjoy an evening at a Denver establishment. A new bill at the statehouse is proposing extending closing times past 2 a.m.
Thomas Hawk Flickr - Creative Commons

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 5:13 pm

Could closing time change for your local watering hole? That's a statehouse proposal under consideration, allowing Colorado communities to decide whether to extend bar hours. Some feel a change to the law could do more harm than good.

Read more
NEWS
1:53 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Aggressive Proposals Aside, Colorado Legislature Still Looks To Address Wildfires

The Black Forest Fire as seen on June 12, 2013 from nearby homes. The wildfire became the most destructive in the state's history, surpassing 2012's Waldo Canyon Fire.
State Farm Flickr - Creative Commons

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 1:35 pm

Helping prevent and fight wildfires is one of the top priorities for Colorado lawmakers in both parties this session, but so far they’re only proposing minor policy changes.

Read more
NEWS
4:08 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Colorado Legislature Opens 2014 With A Call For Collaboration Rather Than Confrontation

Lawmakers get reacquainted before the new legislative session opened at the Colorado capitol Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014.
Bente Birkeland RMCR

As the 2014 legislative session opened Wednesday, newly elected state Senate President Morgan Carroll (D-Aurora) – the second woman to hold the position – urged lawmakers to problem solve and skip the shouting matches in her opening day speech.

Read more
NEWS
2:04 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

A Look Ahead At The Upcoming Legislative Session

Stephen Butler via Flickr (CC-BY)

Going into the 2014 legislative session, Colorado Democrats are still in the majority at the capitol. With an election year looming, party leaders – including Senate President-elect Morgan Carroll – say they want to focus on creating more jobs.

Read more
NEWS
5:20 pm
Sun December 22, 2013

Colorado's Growth, Employment Positive Heading Into 2014

For Nov. 2013, nonfarm payroll jobs increased 4,200 over the month from October to November to 2,378,900 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Private sector payroll jobs increased 2,900 and government increased 1,300.
Colorado Department of Labor and Employment

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 3:11 pm

There’s good news for Colorado’s economy going into 2014, the latest economic forecast is projecting solid growth. The state’s employment rate also continues to grow faster than the nation’s.

Read more
NEWS
6:09 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Hickenlooper Speaks To 2014 Legislative Agenda

The Governor addresses the media Thursday looking ahead to the 2014 legislative session.
Bente Birkeland RMCR

Governor John Hickenlooper says he wants to focus on jobs, the economy and non-partisan issues during the next legislative session. As he outlined his agenda Thursday, his biggest hope is that politics will take a back seat.

Read more

Pages