Capitol Coverage

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:

Bente Birkeland / RMCR

Democrats have a one-seat minority in the state senate. They'll also have a new minority leader for the upcoming legislative session. Senate minority leader Lucia Guzman [D-Denver] sat down with statehouse reporter Bente Birkeland to discuss her new role.

Interview Highlights:

On Leading her Caucus

"As a senator I have certain great interests whether it be judiciary or the health of our kids in schools. Now as the minority leader I have to think more broadly. I have to think about the caucus itself," said Guzman.

On Winning Back the Majority

"We also know that we must be very strategic about what we do, how we do it, so that in the long run we are looking towards the future, towards the election, towards the outcome of those elections and hoping they'll be positive to our group," said Guzman.

On Repealing the Death Penalty

"It's been a long term passion of mine, you know my father was murdered, and yet from that very day I continue to think we don't grow as a society by killing people who kill people… I'm not going to bring that bill this year. It goes back to the fact that I'm the minority leader, not an individual Senator," said Guzman.

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

Jan 5, 2016

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

Colorado General Assembly

Colorado's annual legislative session begins on January 13th. For a series leading up to the session, statehouse reporter Bente Birkeland is sitting down with legislative leaders to discuss their goals and the big issues they must confront.


Colorado lawmakers are returning to the state capitol next week for the four-month annual legislative session. As part of our Capitol Conversation series, Bente Birkeland talked to statehouse reporters about the national political scene and how it will impact the session.

Thursday Newscast, 12/17/15, 6:04 PM

Dec 17, 2015

Newscast for Thursday, December 17, 2015, 6:04 PM:

Tuesday Newscast, 12/15/15, 5:32 PM

Dec 15, 2015

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

Monday Newscast, 12/14/15, 5:32 PM

Dec 14, 2015

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

Andrea Chalfin

"Colorful Colorado" may one day be referred to as "Crowded Colorado" given the number of people expected to move to the Centennial State by 2040. All that growth will take a toll on the state's infrastructure as well as water and other natural resources.

Bente Birkeland/RMCR

The Colorado Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday on whether local cities in Colorado can either ban hydraulic fracturing or declare a moratorium.

The chamber was filled with a who's who in the energy world, from policy experts and state and city officials, to top attorneys and environmental activists, highlighting the importance of the cases.

Wednesday Newscast, 12/9/15, 5:32 PM

Dec 9, 2015

Newscast for Wednesday, December 9, 2015, 5:32 PM:

Monday Newscast, 12/7/15, 5:32 PM

Dec 7, 2015

Newscast for Monday, December 7, 2015, 5:32 PM:

Thursday Newscast, 12/3/15, 5:32 PM

Dec 3, 2015

Newscast for Thursday, December 3, 2015, 5:32 PM:

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.