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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.

Ways to Connect

Tracy Olson/Flickr

Despite moderate growth in Colorado, non-partisan state legislative economists say the risk of a recession is rising here and across the nation. 

 

For the nearly half million people in Colorado who buy health insurance on the individual market, prices are increasing drastically this next year. 

 Supporters of a ballot question that would make it harder to change Colorado’s constitution have raised close to $3 million.

Colorado has one of the highest rates of opioid abuse in the country, and state and federal officials are asking Congress for more money to try to expand public awareness and hire more healthcare workers. 

CREDIT HELEN DOMBALIS / USED WITH PERMISSION

This election cycle has been anything but typical and now Colorado voters will have their say in how the next election is handled.

 U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez visited Colorado on Wednesday to campaign for a ballot measure increasing the state’s minimum wage. 

Courtesy of Club 20

Colorado’s first U.S Senate debate this election season kicked off over the weekend at Club 20, a group of western Colorado counties. Bente Birkeland talks to statehouse reporters about the debate and race.

Click here to hear the full story.

Bente Birkeland

 Over the weekend Colorado’s candidates for the U.S. Senate discussed social security, free trade and foreign policy during their first debate.

Colorado is still the leanest state in the country, according to a new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. 

Colorado’s Republican Party Chairman said Donald Trump’s views on immigration are evolving, and he thinks the Republican nominee has so far made a strong law and order case on the issue. 

Access to something as simple as a doctor can be near impossible in the more rural parts of Colorado. The issue is especially pronounced along the Eastern Plains, leading state officials to embark on a new training program. The objective is to recruit and train more family practice physicians in places like Sterling, a city of about 15,000 people that’s 130 miles northeast of Denver.

 A bipartisan committee of lawmakers met Tuesday to begin crafting water policy that could be introduced during next year’s legislation session.

While many state lawmakers are busy with campaign season, that doesn’t mean they’ve forgotten about some of the future policies they’ll be crafting. 

Rain Barrels Legal

Aug 11, 2016

 Rain barrels will be legal in Colorado starting Wednesday. State lawmakers passed a bill last legislative session to let people capture rain that falls from their roofs. 

 Signatures for anti-fracking proposals along with a new tax on cigarettes and tobacco were among those turned in Monday, which was the deadline for groups wanting to put questions in front of votes in November. 

 

Aaron P. Bernstein, Getty Images

Governor John Hickenlooper has already been front and center this campaign season.

 Monday was the deadline for groups to turn in signatures for proposals that may go before voters this November.

Colorado has been seen as a key swing state during the last few presidential elections – but this year many political pundits say its trending blue, and won’t be a battleground state. But the Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump campaigns aren’t treating it that way.

Denver Post

Hillary Clinton toured a local tie company and held a public rally during a visit to Colorado yesterday. 

Hillary Clinton will host a campaign stop in Colorado Wednesday. It falls on the heels of Donald Trump’s visit to Colorado Springs and Denver last week.

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