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KUNC is a member of Capitol Coverage, a collaborative public policy reporting project, providing news and analysis to communities across Colorado for more than a decade. Fifteen public radio stations participate in Capitol Coverage from throughout Colorado.

Capitol Conversation: Human Trafficking, Gun Policy, Immigrant Driver’s Licenses

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Ken Lund
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CC BY-SA 2.0

Colorado lawmakers are working on several high priority issues including human trafficking, updating a driver’s license program for undocumented immigrants and responding to the mass school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Statehouse reporter Bente Birkeland spoke with Jesse Aaron Paul of the Denver Post and Marianne Goodland with ColoradoPolitics about the issues they are covering under the gold dome.

Interview Highlights

On a bipartisan effort to improve a program that allows undocumented Colorado immigrants to get a driver’s license:

Paul: You see what’s going on in Congress and federal legislators can’t get it together in order to find an immigration deal. So, the fact that this is seeing some movement in an election year. We’ve already seen so many politically charged bills and events here at the capitol. The fact that this thing is showing some progress is pretty astounding.

On the Human Trafficking Awareness Day at the Capitol:

Goodland: And we heard some astounding statistics about where Colorado is on the issue of human trafficking. A couple of years ago before the legislature really started to address the issue the state was given a D grade on its efforts. But in 2014 they passed a landmark rewrite of the children’s code and the state moved up to what one person calls a really strong B.

On Changing Gun Policy in Colorado after the Mass Shooting in Florida:

Paul: It’s going to be interesting to see if anything gets passed this year. There was one bipartisan measure that made it through Thursday that would increase penalties for people who break into a gun store and steal weapons there but otherwise we haven’t seen any major gun control measures drop yet this year.

Capitol Coverage is a collaborative public policy reporting project, providing news and analysis to communities across Colorado for more than a decade. Fifteen public radio stations participate in Capitol Coverage from throughout Colorado.

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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