Bente Birkeland

Capitol Coverage Reporter for Rocky Mountain Community Radio

Bente Birkeland has covered Colorado politics and government since spring of 2006. She loves the variety and challenge of the state capitol beat and talking to people from all walks of life. Bente's work has aired on NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered, American Public Media'sMarketplace, and she was a contributor for WNYC's The Next Big Thing. She has won numerous local and national awards, including best beat reporting from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors. Bente grew up in Minnesota and England, and loves skiing, hiking, and is an aspiring cello player. She lives in Lakewood with her husband.

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Colorado Legislature
5:13 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Positive Forecast Gives Colorado Budget Some Wiggle Room

Ken Lund Flickr - Creative Commons

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 5:10 pm

Colorado lawmakers learned Tuesday that the state’s economy is stronger than expected. That means they’ll have more money to spend in the 2015 budget.

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Colorado Legislature
6:46 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Taking A Tally At The Colorado Legislative Midpoint

A view of the newly regilded dome atop the capitol from the 16th Street Mall.
Jim Hill KUNC

Colorado’s 2014 legislative session is already halfway over. So far lawmakers have tackled a whole host of issues – everything from gun law repeals to wildfire and flood related measures.

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Gun Laws
11:01 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Colorado Democrats Strike Down Background Check Repeal

Jim Hill KUNC

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 10:56 am

The gun debate that riveted the state capitol in 2013, once again took center stage Monday. Fewer people came to the capitol to testify on a key gun bill than the last round, but emotions were still strong.

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Legal and the Web
10:46 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Colorado Lawmakers Move Forward With Mug Shots Bill

Mug shot sites, like the Smoking Gun, have long been a staple online. While some trade in celebrity mug shots, others publish publically available local mug shots.
thesmokinggun.com screencap

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 8:15 am

A bipartisan committee at the statehouse has moved forward a bill to make it easier to remove people’s mug shots from commercial websites if they were never convicted of the crime for which they were arrested.

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Wildfires
12:56 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Aggressive Proposals Aside, Colorado Legislature Still Looks To Address Wildfires

The Black Forest Fire as seen on June 12, 2013 from nearby homes. The wildfire became the most destructive in the state's history, surpassing 2012's Waldo Canyon Fire.
State Farm Flickr - Creative Commons

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 1:35 pm

Helping prevent and fight wildfires is one of the top priorities for Colorado lawmakers in both parties this session, but so far they’re only proposing minor policy changes.

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