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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10:46am

Wed January 29, 2014
Legal and the Web

Colorado Lawmakers Move Forward With Mug Shots Bill

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

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

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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12:56pm

Mon January 27, 2014
Wildfires

Aggressive Proposals Aside, Colorado Legislature Still Looks To Address Wildfires

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

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

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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1:24pm

Fri December 20, 2013
CO Economy

Colorado's Growth, Employment Positive Heading Into 2014

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 3:11 pm

For Nov. 2013, nonfarm payroll jobs increased 4,200 over the month from October to November to 2,378,900 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Private sector payroll jobs increased 2,900 and government increased 1,300.
Colorado Department of Labor and Employment

There’s good news for Colorado’s economy going into 2014, the latest economic forecast is projecting solid growth. The state’s employment rate also continues to grow faster than the nation’s.

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11:44am

Fri December 20, 2013
CO Lawmakers

Hickenlooper Speaks To 2014 Legislative Agenda

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 6:09 am

The Governor addresses the media Thursday looking ahead to the 2014 legislative session.
Bente Birkeland RMCR

Governor John Hickenlooper says he wants to focus on jobs, the economy and non-partisan issues during the next legislative session. As he outlined his agenda Thursday, his biggest hope is that politics will take a back seat.

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9:05am

Fri December 13, 2013
CO Lawmakers

Following A Turbulent Year, Colorado Lawmakers Unsure What 2014 Holds

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 6:40 am

The Colorado Senate chamber, seen in a budget debate in 2011. Members are hoping to put the past in the past and work together, but post-recall shake-ups and an election year could make that difficult.
Colorado State GOP Flickr - Creative Commons

When Colorado lawmakers return in January, the makeup of the state Senate will be different. Coming off a tumultuous off session with two first-ever recalls and a resignation can do that. The state’s Democrats now have a new Senate President and only a one-seat hold on the majority.

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