Capitol Coverage

Credit KIRK SIEGLER / KUNC

Capitol Coverage on 91.5 KRCC is a collaborative public policy reporting project supported by fifteen Colorado public radio stations providing news and analysis to communities statewide. 

91.5 KRCC and KUNC in Greeley provide editorial oversight and management; Bente Birkeland is the reporter.

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Colorado fire fighters say the state needs to make major changes in order to protect the public from increasingly devastating wildfires. As Bente Birkeland reports, state lawmakers are hoping to tackle the issue during the next legislative session.

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Colorado’s economy is steadily rebounding according to the latest economic forecast. And as Bente Birkeland reports, the pace of recovery is expected to pick up next year.

Colorado has a new chief recovery officer to help oversee rebuilding in the wake of massive floods. Governor John Hickenlooper made the announcement on yesterday, saying the goal is to have state and U.S. highways reconnected by December 1st. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

Colorado Senator Mark Udall pledged to seek full federal support to help restore the state after flood waters devastated parts of the foothills and Front Range. Udall and Senator Michael Bennet both addressed the U.S. Senate yesterday describing efforts on the ground. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.



State and federal officials say it’s still too early to determine the scope of damages in the wake of Colorado’s devastating floods.

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Gun rights activists in Colorado are savoring what they call a sweet victory. On Tuesday Democratic Senate president John Morse and Senator Angela Giron were voted out of office for supporting stricter gun laws, in the first legislative recall in state history. As Bente Birkeland reports, the election could change the dynamic under the gold dome.

Recall Election Today

Sep 10, 2013

Two state lawmakers face a recall election today for supporting stricter gun laws. As Bente Birkeland reports, it’s the first time state lawmakers have ever been recalled in Colorado.
 

For polling locations in El Paso County, click here.
For polling locations in Pueblo, click here.

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Two Colorado state lawmakers are facing recall votes over their support for stricter gun laws. The recalls have cast a national spotlight on Colorado and are drawing big out of state donations. Bente Birkeland sat down with reporters who are covering the recall campaigns to discuss what’s at stake.

Recall Elections Bring National Attention

Sep 3, 2013

Both sides of the gun debate in Colorado are pouring a lot of resources into the historic recall elections of two Democratic lawmakers. And as Bente Birkeland reports, next week’s September 10th elections in Pueblo and Colorado Springs are drawing national attention to the fight over gun control.
 

Poll Shows Mediocre Support for Gov. Hickenlooper

Aug 23, 2013
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A new poll shows mediocre approval ratings for Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper as he begins his bid for reelection. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

Task Force Discusses PTSD

Aug 15, 2013

Veterans and other military leaders gathered at the state capitol yesterday to talk about ways to improve treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. Colorado Senator Mark Udall and Congressman Mike Coffman put a task force together to recommend better federal policies. Bente Birkeland has more from the capitol.

Colorado Students Not Progressing Enough

Aug 14, 2013

In subjects such as reading and math, Colorado students aren’t doing as well as state officials had hoped. The Education Department released statewide-standardized test scores Wednesday. The report indicates that while small gains have been made, many students aren’t solid in core subjects. Bente Birkeland has more.


Governor Tours Eastern, Southern Colorado

Aug 13, 2013
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Some residents in eastern Colorado have tough questions for Governor John Hickenlooper. The Governor is touring the area and southern Colorado this week to get feedback from local communities. As Bente Birkeland reports, he won’t always be in friendly territory...

The Governor also plans to visit Trinidad, Alamosa, and Salida among other locations tomorrow.

Oil & Gas Industry Discusses Fracking Backlash

Aug 9, 2013

The oil and gas industry says it’s trying to focus on new ways to reach out to an increasingly skeptical public. Community concern is rising as hydraulic fracturing moves into more and more populated areas of the Front Range. At the Rocky Mountain Energy Summit in Denver, which brings together energy leaders from across the country, much of the discussion this year focused on public anxiety over fracking.   

Buck to Enter U.S. Senate Race

Aug 8, 2013

Republican Weld county district attorney Ken Buck plans to challenge Democratic U.S. Senator Mark Udall next year. Buck filed the paperwork today and as Bente Birkeland reports, he’ll first need to win the Republican primary.

Oil & Gas Leaders Gather in Denver

Aug 7, 2013

Oil and gas leaders are gathering in Denver this week to discuss innovation and controversy in their industry. Bente Birkeland takes a look at how the state’s water wars can shape the public debate over fracking.

Education Campaign Kicks Off

Aug 5, 2013

Supporters of a tax increase for K-12 schools turned in petitions today to try and get the measure on the November ballot. They submitted twice the amount required by law. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

Education Tax Ballot Initiative

Aug 2, 2013

A roughly billion-dollar education tax increase is likely to go before voters this fall. It’s part of a larger package of education reforms state lawmakers passed last session. Bente Birkeland talks to supporters about the challenges ahead, and how they hope the initiative won’t meet the same fate as a similar proposal.

Recall Elections Take Shape

Jul 30, 2013
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It’s a low time of year in Colorado politics. No general election, no Governor’s race. The state capitol is quiet, and the hustle and bustle of the legislative session is long gone. But for senate President John Morse of Colorado Springs, this off election year is shaping up to be the busiest of his life. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

Morse, Giron Recall Elections Set for September 10th

Jul 18, 2013

A recall effort is moving forward to oust two Democratic state lawmakers over their support for gun control laws. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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