Capitol Coverage

Capitol Coverage
10:35 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Wildfire Committee Crafts Legislation

A new state committee tasked with studying wildfire issues has wrapped up its work. The bi-partisan group of lawmakers is recommending a tax credit to encourage people to mitigate fire risks and a proposal to give individual counties more authority to cut down hazardous trees. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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Capitol Coverage
7:34 am
Tue October 22, 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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Capitol Coverage
9:04 pm
Thu October 17, 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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Capitol Coverage
5:00 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

New State Senate President Elected

State Senate President-Elect, Morgan Carroll (D)
Credit Colorado General Assembly

State senate Democrats unanimously elected a new president to lead the chamber next year following the September recall of John Morse. As Bente Birkeland reports, Morgan Carroll will become only the second female senate president in state history.

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Capitol Coverage
4:43 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Another State Lawmaker Targeted for Recall

Colorado senate Democrats blasted gun rights groups today 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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Capitol Coverage
3:14 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

New GOP State Senators Sworn Into Office

A pair of Republican state lawmakers took the oath of office yesterday, after winning historic recall elections last month. Gun control legislation was behind the recall effort. But even with two more Republican Senators at the state capitol, Democrats are still in control of both the House and Senate. Bente Birkeland has more.

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Capitol Coverage
7:10 am
Thu October 3, 2013

State Says Fracking Operations not Impacted by Flooding

During a hearing on water issues late last week, state officials said they’ve inspected 70 percent of the oil and gas wells damaged by recent flooding. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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Capitol Coverage
5:18 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Annual Tourism Conference in Telluride

State tourism officials are in Telluride this week to discuss ways of promoting Colorado. As Bente Birkeland reports, Colorado is coming off a record breaking year for visitors.

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Capitol Coverage
8:17 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Flooding Fuels Fracking Debate

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

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.

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Capitol Coverage
5:20 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Governor Provides Update on Flood Recovery

Governor John Hickenlooper told local officials this morning that many of the state highways and roads closed due to recent flooding have reopened. But as Bente Birkeland reports there's still a lot more work to do.

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Capitol Coverage
12:14 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Wildfire Committee Meets

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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Capitol Coverage
7:43 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Colorado's Economic Recovery

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.

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Capitol Coverage
6:50 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Governor Appoints Recovery Chief

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.

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Capitol Coverage
6:27 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Udall, Bennet Seek Federal Aid

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.



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Capitol Coverage
4:04 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

FEMA Working For Quick Recovery For Colorado Flood

Bente Birkeland RMCR

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 6:15 am

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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Capitol Coverage
7:06 am
Thu September 12, 2013

What the Recall Election Means for Next Session

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.

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Capitol Coverage
7:06 am
Tue September 10, 2013

Recall Election Today

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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Capitol Coverage
7:33 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Capitol Conversation: Reporter Roundtable on Recall Elections

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.

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Capitol Coverage
7:33 am
Tue September 3, 2013

Recall Elections Bring National Attention

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.
 

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Capitol Coverage
4:52 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Poll Shows Mediocre Support for Gov. Hickenlooper

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.

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Capitol Coverage
7:33 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Task Force Discusses PTSD

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.

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Capitol Coverage
9:27 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Colorado Students Not Progressing Enough

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.


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Capitol Coverage
5:17 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Governor Tours Eastern, Southern Colorado

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.

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Capitol Coverage
7:35 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Oil & Gas Industry Discusses Fracking Backlash

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.   

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Capitol Coverage
4:23 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Buck to Enter U.S. Senate Race

Ken Buck campaign site photo (cropped).

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.

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Capitol Coverage
7:01 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Oil & Gas Leaders Gather in Denver

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.

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Capitol Coverage
3:17 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Education Campaign Kicks Off

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.

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Capitol Coverage
7:59 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Education Tax Ballot Initiative

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.

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Capitol Coverage
5:44 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Recall Elections Take Shape

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.

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Capitol Coverage
3:38 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Morse, Giron Recall Elections Set for September 10th

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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