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.




Tue December 13, 2011

State Grapples with Court's Education Decision

Colorado’s attorney general and the Governor are deciding whether to appeal a trial court decision that says state funding for K through 12 schools is inadequate and unconstitutional. And while education advocates praise the decision calling it a wakeup call, as Bente Birkeland reports, many are also wondering what’s next and how the state can fix the problem.


Wed December 7, 2011

Environmentalists and Oil and Gas Companies Disagree on Rule

Environmental groups and the oil and gas industry are at odds when it comes to a new rule on hydraulic fracturing. All sides agree that the chemicals used in fracturing should be made public, but they don’t agree on how and when. State regulators delayed a vote on the rule Monday evening and will deliberate more at a hearing next week in Greeley. KUNC’s State Capitol reporter Bente Birkeland has more.


Sun December 4, 2011

Democrats Stand to Make Big Gains in Reapportionment, Redistricting

Colorado is in the middle of a partisan fight over state house and congressional district boundaries. By law the state must redraw the boundaries once a decade to account for population shifts. The new maps will impact the political landscape for years to come, but still need approval from the state supreme court. KUNC’s State Capitol Reporter Bente Birkeland talks to fellow statehouse reporters about the ramifications.


Tue November 29, 2011

Reapportionment Vote Angers Republicans

Republicans are up in arms after a commission charged with redrawing state house districts picked Democratic maps. The Colorado Supreme Court originally rejected the commission's bi-partisan maps, saying they split up too many counties. KUNC’s State Capitol reporter Bente Birkeland has more.



Wed November 23, 2011

A Conversation with Supreme Court Justice Brian Boatright

Judge Brian Boatright
Photo Courtesy Colorado Judicial Branch

Colorado has a new state Supreme Court Justice. Brian Boatright is starting his role this week. He previously served as a trial court judge in Jefferson County for more than a decade. He’s the fifth member of the seven member court appointed by a Democratic Governor, but Boatright is a Republican. KUNC’s state capitol reporter Bente Birkeland sat down with Boatright to talk about his some of his toughest cases and what he hopes to bring to the job.