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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The main party candidates in Colorado’s U.S. Senate race will meet Tuesday evening on 9 News for their only televised debate of this election.

Courtesy of the Denver Post

 Presidential hopeful Donald Trump brought his campaign message to Colorado Monday with stops in Pueblo and in Loveland.

Colorado could be the next state to let terminally ill patients take medication to end their lives. 

Two election related questions will appear on the November ballot in Colorado. Proposition 108 would open local and statewide primaries up to unaffiliated voters. 

Should it be more difficult to change Colorado’s constitution?

Several dead voters are casting ballots in Colorado, according to a recent report from CBS 4 in Denver.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

 Not surprisingly, reaction to the first U.S. presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton largely depends on party affiliation.

Colorado is among a handful of states where voters will decide if the minimum wage should be increased. If approved, Colorado’s wage would go up each year until it reaches $12 an hour by 2020.

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.

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