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Drones, Oil And Gas Taskforce On Tap At The Capitol

KUNC File Photo

It's a busy week under the gold dome. The Governor's oil and gas task force, which was charged with trying to harmonize local oil and gas regulations with statewide interests will soon be wrapping up. Many lawmakers have been holding off on introducing oil and gas legislation until the commission finishes its work.

A debate on drones - one that does not fall along party lines - will get a hearing in the Senate Tuesday. For thoughts on what's happening at the capitol, talked to some of the reporters who work there daily.

In the roundtable is Kristen Wyatt with The Associated Press and John Frank with The Denver Post.

Kristen Wyatt, Associated Press On Drones:

"This is a ban on drone usage by police.  The FAA just set a new policy for commercial use of drones. This is about how cops can use them. Can they use them for surveillance? Do they need a warrant? Cops say we need them to do things like fire prevention and finding victims of car accidents, so this could potentially really thorny for lawmakers to come up with a nice way to do this."

John Frank, Denver Post On The Oil And Gas Taskforce:

"Fracking is the elephant in the room this session. It's the bill no one is talking about but it's on everyone's mind. And it's because of this wait and see approach to Hickenlooper's oil and gas task force. But the big question is when they finish their report this week, is will it be enough to keep issues off the ballot in 2016 and satisfy both sides, whether it's the folks who want fewer restrictions on fracking or the people who want more restrictions at the local level."

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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