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.

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NEWS
11:01 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Committee Wraps Work On Colorado Wildfire Recommendations

Soldiers from the Colorado National Guard's 1157th Engineer Firefighter Company smother hot spots around Black Forest residential areas in Colorado Springs, Colo., June 14, 2013.
U.S. National Guard photo Sgt. Richard McMullen/RELEASED

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 10:18 am

A state committee tasked with studying wildfire issues recently finished its work with several recommendations. Among them, a tax credit to encourage people to mitigate fire risks and a proposal to give individual counties more authority to cut down hazardous trees.

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NEWS
6:17 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Republicans Have The Edge In Colorado Early Voting

A mail ballot for the City and County of Denver
Nathan Heffel KUNC

About ten percent of Colorado’s registered voters have already cast ballots for the Nov. 5 election. So far Republicans have turned out in higher numbers.

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Capitol Coverage

The Capitol Coverage Project is an effort of Rocky Mountain Community Radio, a group of non-commercial public and community radio stations mainly in Colorado, with stations in Utah and New Mexico.

For the past nine years the project has provided daily news reports from sessions of the Colorado State Legislature. The reports are provided to all participating stations.

Decisions made by our elected state representatives and senators impact every resident of Colorado. The Capitol Coverage Project seeks to inform and engage radio listeners in this decision-making process.

NEWS
9:02 am
Mon October 28, 2013

'Ganja-preneurs' Set Their Sights On Colorado Pot Tourism

Participants with My 420 Tours.
Chandler Kim used with permission

Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 7:47 am

Recreational marijuana shops won’t open their doors in Colorado until January and already several pot tourism companies are making plans to cash in on the new businesses.

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NEWS
10:23 am
Sat October 26, 2013

William Hood Will Be Colorado’s Next Supreme Court Justice

William Hood and his wife look on as Gov. Hickenlooper announces his appointment, Oct. 25.
Bente Birkeland RMCR

Governor John Hickenlooper announced the appointment of William Hood to the bench Friday afternoon. Hood is filling the place of retiring chief justice John Bender.

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NEWS
2:51 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Voters To Weigh In On Colorado Marijuana Taxes

Marijuana indvidually bagged and ready for use in this photo dated April 20, 2013.
charenton Flickr - Creative Commons

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 2:43 pm

Colorado is preparing for the state’s first recreational marijuana stores to open this January. In the meantime, voters still have the final say on how the new product will be taxed through Proposition AA.

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NEWS
4:23 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

As Election Nears, Critics And Supporters Spar Over Education Tax

Governor John Hickenlooper meets with members of the business group Colorado Succeeds, which has endorsed the measure.
Bente Birkeland RMCR

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 10:31 am

With just over three weeks until the election, the campaign asking Colorado voters to approve a $1 billion tax increase to pay for improvements to public schools are planning what they call a robust door-to-door operation.

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NEWS
1:18 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Another Colorado Lawmaker Targeted For Recall

Bente Birkeland RMCR

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 2:30 pm

Colorado senate Democrats blasted gun rights groups Wednesday for trying to recall another state lawmaker. Two Democrats were ousted in September over support for stricter gun laws. The latest campaign targets Westminster Democrat Evie Hudak.

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NEWS
2:30 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Colorado's Mountain Resorts Gear Up For Recreational Marijuana

Telluride's Main Street during the summer and the annual Bluegrass Festival, June 2012.
Credit Doug Anderson via Flickr (CC BY)

Communities across Colorado are taking different tactics to the sale of recreational marijuana, which will officially begin in January. In Colorado’s high country, most resort towns support pot legalization and they don’t see it hurting the state's multi-billion dollar tourism business.

Last November, Colorado voters passed Amendment 64 by a healthy margin. In resort towns such as Telluride, nearly 80 percent of voters said yes to legalization.

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NEWS
11:38 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Industry, Critics Gear Up for Post-Flood Fracking Fight

Dottie Rawsky and other members of Our Broomfield man an informational booth.
Credit Bente Birkeland/RMCR

In November, voters in several Front Range communities will consider whether to ban or delay fracking. Many of these same areas are also recovering from September's devastating flooding.

There's renewed attention on the fight over fracking thanks to Colorado's flooding. Recent figures show that 12 spills have polluted the South Platte with 37,000 gallons of oil.

Both sides of the debate were out in full force during a recent community festival for the city of Broomfield. Voters there will decide whether to pass a five-year fracking moratorium.

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