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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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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7:17am

Mon February 27, 2012
Politics

Capitol Conversation: Lawmakers Consider Giving Themselves Raises

KUNC

State lawmakers are moving forward with a plan to increase the daily expense rate for legislators who live outside of Denver. Every non-metro area lawmaker could get nearly 4 thousand additional dollars each year.

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