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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Capitol Coverage
8:30 am
Wed December 12, 2012

State Commission Considers Oil and Gas Setbacks

Drilling rig in Western Colorado.

Energy regulators in Colorado are examining whether to increase the distance between oil and gas drilling sites and buildings such as schools and homes. They’re also considering a water-testing requirement that would need to be done before and after drilling takes place.

Listen to the story.

Capitol Coverage
8:29 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Marijuana Now Legal in Colorado

It’s now legal to smoke marijuana in Colorado. Governor John Hickenlooper certified the election results of amendment 64 on Monday, which allows people over age 21 to grow and smoke small amounts of pot. And as Bente Birkeland reports, the Governor also signed an executive order creating a marijuana task force to help state lawmakers craft new regulations.

Interview with the Governor.

Capitol Coverage
8:34 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Governor Hickenlooper Q&A

In our regular sit down with Governor John Hickenlooper, he gives his take on statewide marijuana regulations, and explains why he doesn't think the industry will be booming in the coming months. He also tells statehouse reporter Bente Birkeland why he's not sold on a major overhaul to the state's child welfare system in the wake of child fatalities.

Interview with the Governor.

Capitol Coverage
8:38 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Ski Resorts Won't Allow Marijuana Use

Governor John Hickenlooper still has roughly a month to certify the results of the November election. And when he does, it’ll be legal for Coloradans over 21 to smoke recreational marijuana. For the moment, most businesses are taking a wait and see approach. The state’s ski resorts are one industry that doesn't expect its policies to change any time soon. Bente  Birkeland has more from the state capitol.


Capitol Coverage
10:01 am
Wed December 5, 2012

New State Senate President Previews Session

Democratic senator John Morse will take over as the next senate president in January. He previously served as the majority leader. Statehouse reporter Bente Birkeland sat down with him to talk about how he sees his new role and his hopes for the legislative session.

Hear the story.

Capitol Coverage
11:15 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Historic Number of LGBT Lawmakers Elected

During the November 6th election, Americans elected more gay and lesbian lawmakers than ever before. And in states like Wisconsin, Oregon and Colorado, gay and lesbian officials will hold some of the highest positions of power. Bente Birkeland takes a closer look at what’s driving the change.


Election 2012
10:14 am
Tue November 13, 2012

Civil Unions Impact on Statehouse

Credit http://www.fightback-co.com/home / Fight Back Colorado

Civil unions supporters in Colorado won big during last week’s election – successfully targeting and ousting three Republican lawmakers over their opposition to civil unions. And as Bente Birkeland reports, many in the GOP feel the issue contributed to their losses.


Capitol Coverage
10:28 am
Fri November 9, 2012

CO Dems Select First Openly Gay Man as House Speaker

Colorado Democrats made history on Thursday by selecting the first openly gay man to be the speaker of the state house of representatives. Bente  Birkeland has more from the state capitol.


Capitol Coverage
9:46 am
Wed November 7, 2012

Democrats Take Back Control of State Legislature

Democrats now have control of both chambers of the Colorado state legislature.

Democrats now have control of both chambers of the Colorado state legislature, putting the GOP in the backseat when it comes to next legislative session. Republican had hoped to expand their one-seat advantage in the house of representatives. Bente Birkeland has more from Denver.

Listen to the story.

Capitol Coverage
9:41 am
Wed November 7, 2012

Colorado Legalizes Marijuana

It’s now legal in Colorado for people over the age of 21 to smoke marijuana recreationally. Voters passed amendment 64 making Colorado the first state in the country, along with Washington State, to legalize pot. Bente Birkeland has more from Denver.

Listen to the story.

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