Capitol Coverage

KRCC

Colorado's four-month long legislative session is half way over. As part of our Capitol Conversation series, Bente Birkeland talks to other statehouse reporters about some of the surprises so far, and what lies ahead.

Bente Birkeland / RMCR

Voters in eleven states went to the polls or caucused on Super Tuesday. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders won Colorado's Democratic caucuses. He also grabbed victories in Oklahoma, Minnesota, and in his home state.

On the GOP side, Colorado Republicans did not take a preference poll for the presidential race.

IAN MACKENZIE / FLICKR - CREATIVE COMMONS

Colorado is on the road to becoming the final state in the country to legalize rain barrels, after Democrats reached an agreement on Monday with several Republicans who opposed previous versions of the measure.

Another attempt in Colorado to allow terminally ill patients to take medication to end their own lives recently failed for the second straight year in the Democratic controlled House.

With strong words for opponents and members of their own party, the sponsors of the End-of-Life Options Bill, known as House Bill 16-1054 [.pdf], pulled it before debate could begin on the floor. The reason behind the withdrawal was a lack of votes and proposed amendments for the bill.

A bill that would have allowed terminally ill patients to take medication to end their own lives has failed in the Colorado Legislature. The main sponsors asked lawmakers to defeat the bill before it could be debated by the full House.

"The choice we made today, was to give you the relief from having to have this conversation because we know many of you have deeply held convictions that make you uncomfortable with this bill," said state Rep. Lois Court (D-Denver). "We are doing you this favor, to not have this debate, but make no mistake the voice of the people of this state will be heard."

Colorado residents have vastly different health outcomes, based in part on where they live in the state. Rocky Mountain PBS News analyzed health data from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to rank each of the state's 64 counties based on a variety of health indicators from obesity, to amount of exercise, to smoking and premature deaths.

Update 5.13.2016: Gov. John Hickenlooper has signed legislation finally legalizing rain barrels. Our original story continues below.

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Colorado is the only state in the country where it is illegal to capture rainwater for use at a later time. State lawmakers are once again debating whether to allow residents to use rain barrels to collect precipitation that falls from their roofs.

"This is really straightforward," said Representative Jessie Danielson (D-Wheat Ridge), one of the main sponsor's of House Bill 16-1005 [.pdf]. "You could use that water when you see fit, for your tomato plants or flower gardens."

Colorado lawmakers are divided over whether a hospital provider fee should be reclassified in the state budget so it doesn't count toward the state's revenue limit under the Tax Payer's Bill of Rights.

KRCC

State legislators discussed a number of law enforcement and criminal justice bills this week along with some other controversial measures.

Wednesday Newscast, 2/10/16, 5:32 PM

Feb 10, 2016

Newscast for Wednesday, February 10, 2016, 5:32 PM:
 


Tuesday Newscast, 2/9/16, 5:32 PM

Feb 9, 2016

Newscast for Tuesday, Febraury 9, 2015, 5:32 PM:
 


KRCC

State lawmakers are debating whether terminally ill patients with less than six months to live should be allowed to take medication to end their own lives. It's just one of several controversial bills being debated under the gold dome. 

Friday Newscast, 2/5/16, 5:32 PM

Feb 5, 2016

Newscast for Friday, February 5, 2016, 5:32 PM:
 


Dennis McKinney / CO Division of Wildlife

Colorado could be the next state to allow hunters to wear florescent pink. A Democratic proposal to give hunters the option of wearing pink, in addition to orange, passed the Republican controlled Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy Committee on Thursday.

Friday Newscast, 2/5/16, 8:04 AM

Feb 5, 2016

Newscast for Friday, February 5, 2016, 8:04 AM:
 


Thursday Newscast, 2/4/16, 7:04 AM

Feb 4, 2016

Newscast for Thursday, February 4, 2016, 7:04 AM:
 


Wednesday Newscast, 2/3/16, 7:04 AM

Feb 3, 2016

Newscast for Wednesday, February 3, 2016, 7:04 AM:
 


Tuesday Newscast, 2/2/16, 5:32 PM

Feb 2, 2016

Newscast for Tuesday, February 2, 2016, 5:32 PM:
 


Tuesday Newscast, 2/2/16, 7:04 AM

Feb 2, 2016

Newscast for Tuesday, February 2, 2016, 7:04 AM:


KRCC

Roughly three weeks into Colorado's annual legislative session, a lot of bills are starting to get their first hearings.

Capitol reporter Bente Birkeland talks to other statehouse reporters about the upcoming week and how politics impacts the bills being heard in committees. 

KRCC

Lawmakers have introduced the first wave of bills as part of the annual legislative session. Bente Birkeland talked to statehouse reporters about some of the most interesting pieces of legislation as part of our Capitol Conversation series.
 

Andrea Chalfin / KRCC

Governor John Hickenlooper announced Wednesday that the state will prioritize connecting and building 16 hiking and biking trails in all parts of Colorado. The goal is to connect and build missing trail segments to make it easier for people to access open space and parks.

It's part of the governor's Colorado the Beautiful initiative, unveiled in 2015.

KRCC

Colorado lawmakers are back at the state capitol for the annual legislative session. Bente Birkeland discussed priorities from the Governor and legislative leaders as part of our capitol conversation series.


Bente Birkeland / RMCR

On Thursday Governor John Hickenlooper delivered his 6th State of the State address to the state legislature. In his speech, he highlighted the need for people from all political stripes to work together to fix the state's big budget problems and discussed Colorado's economic gains and challenges.   

Bente Birkeland / RMCR

Colorado's annual legislative session began on Wednesday, with the usual pomp and ceremony and opening day speeches. The building had a back to school vibe, with families and friends joining lawmakers in the chamber, as it hummed with activity after the eight month interim. Isaac Slade, the lead singer of the Denver based rock band the Fray, sang the national anthem in the Senate.
 

    

Tuesday Newscast, 1/12/16, 5:32 PM

Jan 12, 2016

Newscast for Tuesday, January 12, 2016, 5:32 PM:


Monday Newscast, 1/11/16, 7:04 AM

Jan 11, 2016

Newscast for Monday, January 11, 2016, 7:04 AM:
 


Bente Birkeland / RMCR

Colorado is heading into the 2016 annual legislative session next week and state lawmakers will debate a host of topics from energy and water, to the budget and schools. Statehouse Reporter Bente Birkeland discussed the session with House Minority leader Brian DelGrosso [R-Loveland].


Bente Birkeland / RMCR

Speaker of the House Dickey Lee Hullinghorst [D-Boulder] is entering her second year as the leader of the chamber; she is also term limited at the end of the session. As part of our series previewing the legislative session statehouse reporter Bente Birkeland talked to her about her priorities.

Wednesday Newscast, 1/6/16, 5:32 PM

Jan 6, 2016

Newscast for Wednesday, January 6, 2016, 5:32 PM:
 


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