Capitol Coverage

Gov. John Hickenlooper announced Monday that Colorado would accept Syrian refugees. President Barack Obama said the U.S. would receive at least 10,000 Syrian refugees within the next year, but a growing list of Republican governors pledged to block refugees from relocating to their states.

"We can protect our security and provide a place where the world's most vulnerable can rebuild their lives," said Hickenlooper in a statement.

Lt. Governor Joe Garcia to Step Down

Nov 10, 2015
Bente Birkeland / RMCR

Colorado's Lt. Governor Joe Garcia announced Tuesday that he is stepping down from the position next year, after five years on the job. He also heads the Colorado Department of Higher Education and will leave that post to helm a higher education policy group for the western U.S., called the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.

Monday Newscast, 11/09/15, 5:32 PM

Nov 9, 2015

Newscast for Monday, November 9, 2015, 5:32 PM:

Thursday Newscast, 11/5/15, 5:32 PM

Nov 5, 2015

Newscast for Thursday, November 5, 2015, 5:32 PM:

Tuesday Newscast, 11/3/15, 5:32 PM

Nov 3, 2015

Newscast for Tuesday, November 3, 2015, 5:32 PM:

  • A man who set off a small explosion near the NAACP office in Colorado Springs earlier this year has been sentenced to five years in federal prison. 44-year-old Thaddeus Murphy pleaded guilty in August to arson under an agreement with prosecutors, saying he was not targeting the nation's oldest civil rights organization.
  • It’s Election Day, and so far it appears statewide turnout will be relatively low. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol...

Monday Newscast, 11/2/15, 5:32 PM

Nov 2, 2015

Newscast for Monday, November 2, 2015, 5:32 PM:

Bente Birkeland / RMCR

Dozens of watch parties were held across the state Wednesday night as the GOP presidential contenders held their third debate at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

At the Epernay Lounge in downtown Denver, business and grass roots Republican groups hosted about 150 people. The crowd mostly consisted of moderate Republicans; many were undecided and had several possibilities for support.

Bente Birkeland / RMCR

Colorado will take center stage when the GOP presidential hopefuls hold their third debate, taking place at the University of Colorado-Boulder. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was also recently on campus. CU students said all the activity is engaging younger voters ahead of the 2016 race.

Freshman Eliza Leeson is a Humanities major. She was among the roughly nine thousand students who attended the Bernie Sanders rally in Boulder.

Monday Newscast, 10/26/15, 5:32 PM

Oct 26, 2015

Newscast for Monday, October 26, 2015, 5:32 PM:

  • Efforts to fund much-needed repairs to Amtrak's Southwest Chief line got an extra boost today as the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded $15.2 million to the project. 


Thursday Newscast, 10/22/15, 5:32 PM

Oct 22, 2015

Newscast for Thursday, October 22, 2015, 5:32 PM:

Wednesday Newscast, 10/21/15, 5:32 PM

Oct 21, 2015

Newscast for Wednesday, October 21, 2015, 5:32 PM:

Local tax and spending issues, as well as city council and mayoral races largely dominate Colorado's 2015 election. There is only one statewide question, which asks voters whether the state can keep marijuana tax money it's already collected to pay for school construction, law enforcement and other programs.

If that's a question that sounds familiar – that's because it is. Proposition BB will actually be the third time Colorado voters have weighed in on taxing marijuana.

Tuesday Newscast, 10/13/15, 5:32 PM

Oct 13, 2015

Newscast for Tuesday, October 13, 2015, 5:32 PM:

The Republican field to challenge Democratic U.S. Senator Michael Bennet is still very much up in the air, but some possible contenders have not ruled out entering the race.

Bennet's seat is one of 10 Democratic seats across the nation the party must defend in 2016. So far Republicans do not have a clear front-runner. Bright prospects including Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman and Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler have both decided not to run.

Bente Birkeland / RMCR

Colorado is well known for its outdoor recreation offerings, but Governor John Hickenlooper wants to take it to the next level by making it even easier for people to access open space and parks. Over the summer he unveiled the Colorado the Beautiful Initiative and more recently a $100 million pledge to create and connect bike trails. 

Thursday Newscast, 9/24/15, 5:32 PM

Sep 24, 2015

Newscast for Thursday, September 24, 2015, 5:32 PM:

Tom Koerner/USFWS / Creative Commons

The U.S. Department of Interior decided on Tuesday that the greater sage grouse does not need protection under the Endangered Species Act. The bird spans eleven western states including Colorado, where it lives in pockets along the western slope.  The population is mostly concentrated in the northwest part of the state. Governor John Hickenlooper was one of the many people working to avoid a federal listing for the bird.  He sat down with statehouse reporter Bente Birkeland to talk about the decision and other initiatives.

Interview Highlights

Tuesday Newscast, 9/22/15, 5:32 PM

Sep 22, 2015

Newscast for Tuesday, September 22, 2015, 5:32 PM:

Tuesday Newscast, 9/22/15, 7:20 AM

Sep 22, 2015

Newscast for Tuesday, September 22, 2015, 7:20 AM:

Monday Newscast, 9/21/15, 6:04 PM

Sep 21, 2015

Newscast for Monday, September 21, 2015, 6:04 PM:

Friday Newscast, 9/18/15, 5:32 PM

Sep 18, 2015

Newscast for Friday, September 18, 2015, 5:32 PM:

Colorado's ban on collecting rain from residential rooftops has been a contentious topic at the statehouse, and a proposed bill for 2016 means it will likely be debated once again.

"Colorado is the only western state where rain barrels are illegal," said Drew Beckwith, a water policy manager with the nonprofit Western Resource Advocates.

"Every other western state that has our water laws has them legal, and it has not caused the Earth to come crashing to a halt."

So why is there so much controversy over collecting rainwater? The sticking point is whether doing so impacts downstream water users.

Thursday Newscast, 9/17/15, 5:32 PM

Sep 17, 2015

Newscast for Thursday, September 17, 2015, 5:32 PM:

Wednesday Newscast, 9/16/15, 7:43 AM

Sep 16, 2015

Newscast for Wednesday, September 16, 2015, 7:43 AM:

Tuesday Newscast, 9/15/15, 5:32 PM

Sep 15, 2015

Newscast for Tuesday, September 15, 2015, 5:32 PM:

Oil drilling on Colorado's populous Front Range has forced more interactions between communities and the energy industry – and that's caused tension. At the recent annual Rocky Mountain Energy Summit, one of the discussions centered on how to improve relations between the industry and the public.

It's an ongoing issue that the state will tackle in a new rule making hearing.

Monday Newscast, 9/14/15, 5:32 PM

Sep 14, 2015

Newscast for Monday, September 14, 2015, 5:32 PM:

  • A bi-partisan committee of Colorado lawmakers is wrapping up statewide hearings this week on Colorado’s water plan. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.
  • The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for much of southern Colorado tomorrow, starting at 11 and ending at 8..  Low humidity and gusty winds are in store for the region.  The National Weather Service has also issued a fire weather watch for Wednesday.

Thursday Newscast, 9/10/15, 6:04 PM

Sep 10, 2015

Newscast for Thursday, September 10, 205, 6:04 PM:

Colorado has largely been spared from this summer's political wrangling ahead of the 2016 presidential race. But as Republicans nationally are working to narrow the presidential field, the GOP in Colorado wants to widen its field of candidates to run against incumbent Democratic Senator Michael Bennet next year.

"The numbers tell us Senator Bennet is vulnerable," said Republican state party Chairman Steve House. "It would be great to hold onto the U.S. Senate. Republicans have to defend a number of seats more than the Democrats."

The number of Coloradans who don't have health insurance has dropped by about half since President Barack Obama's signature health care law went into effect. The state's uninsured rate fell from 14.3 percent in 2013 to 6.7 percent in 2015. Not only does the Colorado Access Health Survey say that the uninsured are at a record low, it also finds that more people have enrolled in Medicaid.