Bente Birkeland

State Capitol Reporter

Bente Birkeland has been reporting on state legislative issues for KUNC and Rocky Mountain Community Radio since 2006. Originally, from Minnesota, Bente likes to hike and ski in her spare time. She keeps track of state politics throughout the year but is especially busy during the annual legislative session from January through early May.

 

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3:42pm

Wed April 23, 2014
Politics

Vaccine Bill Stripped Down At The Colorado Capitol

Stephen Butler Flickr - Creative Commons

The Colorado Senate significantly watered down a vaccine education proposal Wednesday. Many parents came to the state capitol to testify that the original bill was a government overreach.

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7:30am

Wed April 2, 2014
Wildfire

Budget May Douse State Aerial Firefighting Fleet

A Type 1 helicopter, known as a snorkel, drops water on the High Park Fire near Fort Collins, Colo., June, 2012.
National Guard Flickr - Creative Commons

Lawmakers on Colorado’s powerful joint budget committee are skeptical about finding money for an aerial firefighting fleet for the upcoming wildfire season. A report from the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control recommends spending $33 million on spotter planes, small air tankers, helicopters, and leasing large air tankers for wildfire season.

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1:00pm

Wed March 26, 2014
Politics

Colorado Telecom Overhaul Moves Forward

Jim Hill KUNC

Even in 2014 many parts of Colorado are still not connected to the Internet and if they are it’s not at high speeds. A package of bills to reform and update Colorado’s telecommunications industry has cleared its first committee at the state capitol.

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7:00am

Tue March 25, 2014
Transportation Policy

Bid To Save The Southwest Chief Winds Through The Statehouse

Amtrak's Southwest Chief makes a stop March 5, 2006. The rails that run through New Mexico into Colorado and Kansas need repair, without it the line could be rerouted through Texas and Oklahoma.
Sheila Thomson Flickr - Creative Commons

Amtrak’s Southwest Chief line runs through the towns of Lamar, La Junta, and Trinidad - part of a longer passenger route stretching from Chicago to L.A. The rails are in need of major repairs and the upgrades are expected to be in the millions.

Part of a multistate effort, a measure is moving through the statehouse to try and find ways to finance the project and save the rail line.

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8:00am

Thu March 20, 2014
Politics

Cigarette Restriction Bill Goes Up In Smoke

Smokers in Old Town Fort Collins, in this file photo from May 2007.
Paul L. Dineen Flickr - Creative Commons

A bill to increase the smoking age in Colorado to 21 failed in the house finance committee Wednesday. One Democrat joined with Republicans to defeat the measure.

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