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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12:45pm

Mon March 12, 2012
Politics

Lawmakers Want to Go Paperless at the Capitol

The senate clerk used to lock bills in this safe to prevent theft.
Bente Birkeland

The Colorado legislature generates millions of pieces of paper each year, costing the state thousands of dollars in printing costs. In fact, many state lawmakers say they’re buried in paperwork. But as KUNC’s Bente Birkeland reports, much of that paper could one day be a thing of the past.

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9:43am

Sun March 11, 2012
Politics

Capitol Conversation: Where Things Stand at Session Mid-Point

Patrick Malone-Pueblo Chieftain (left) Ivan Moreno-Associated Press (right).
Bente Birkeland

The state’s legislative session is half over, and leaders in both parties are taking stock of where things stand and what’s left. Not surprisingly Republicans and Democrats have very different takes on how well the session is progressing.

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7:46am

Fri March 9, 2012
Politics

Lawmaker Wants Drug Testing for Welfare Recipients

The state of Colorado is considering a bill that would require people applying for public welfare to take a drug test in order to receive their monthly benefits. Similar measures have been proposed by states across the country, even though the practice has often been challenged in the courts.

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2:37pm

Tue March 6, 2012
Politics

Governor’s New Oil and Gas Task Force Meets This Week

Kirk Siegler

State lawmakers have already defeated several bills dealing with the controversial drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing this session. But a new executive order from Governor John Hickenlooper stands to put the issue in the spotlight once again. He’s created a new task force to examine the balance of power between local oil and gas regulations and state rules. The group holds its first meeting on Friday.

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6:31am

Thu March 1, 2012
Politics

The Finances of State Lawmakers

KUNC

State lawmakers say it’s a financial hardship to serve in the state legislature, especially for rural lawmakers. This comes as lawmakers are defending an increase in their daily cost of living expenses, at a time when many have opposed similar pay-increases for state employees amid the economic downturn.

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