Colorado is approaching the mid-point of its legislative session. Republicans in control of the house are flexing their newfound majority and moving forward a few controversial bills through that chamber. This comes after weeks of signature bills being quietly killed by their own sponsors. As part of our Capitol Conversation series, statehouse reporter Bente [...]

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Colorado is almost one month into the legislative session and despite some occasional flare-ups over minor measures, lawmakers have gotten off to a relatively slow start. For now, leadership in the split legislature seems to be taking a more cautious approach to the session. Bente Birkeland analyzes the dynamic as part of our capitol conversation [...]

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Calls for bi-partisanship at the statehouse have started to break down in the early part of the legislative session. Some of the divisions have cropped up over budget issues and even minor resolutions. Bente Birkeland takes a look as part of our weekly Capitol Conversation series.

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Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper appeared to hit a home run on his first state of the state speech, receiving praise from lawmakers on opposite ends of the political spectrum. To kick off this session’s Capitol Conversation series, Bente Birkeland analyzes the speech, and how the political mood may be working in his favor.

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Colorado is heading into a new legislative session that will bring fresh faces to state leadership, including Governor-elect John Hickenlooper. Bente Birkeland discusses the challenges he faces taking office, and the split in the state legislature as part of our weekly Capitol Conversation series that runs during the legislative session.

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New state lawmakers are going through freshman orientation, and Republicans are transitioning into their role as the majority party in a chamber for the first time in six years. Bente Birkeland analyzes the makeup of the state legislature and looks ahead to the next legislative session as part of our capitol conversation series.

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Several recent public opinion polls show a narrowing in the Governor’s race as American Constitution Party candidate Tom Tancredo draws more supporters from Republican Dan Maes. But Democrat John Hickenlooper is still leading in the polls. Bente Birkeland examines the race as part of our capitol conversation series that runs through election day.

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Colorado’s U.S. senate race will be closely watched race this November. Democratic Senator Michael Bennet is trying to win his first election campaign after being appointed to the position by Governor Ritter. Republican challenger and Weld county prosecutor Ken Buck won the primary with tea party and grass roots support. Bente Birkeland examines the race [...]

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In an election year fueled with voter anger toward the federal government and calls for lower taxes, Colorado will be the first in the country to show just how far voters are willing to go. On the November ballot are three measures that together would cut billions of dollars from state and local governments. Mail [...]

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The Tea Party movement is gaining momentum nationally, with polls showing that liberal voters are less enthusiastic this election season compared to conservative voters. Bente discusses the climate here in Colorado and the potential impact on local and statewide races. It’s part of our Capitol Conversation series, that will air each week through the November [...]

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Lawmakers are on the verge of wrapping up the state’s annual legislative session. As part of our weekly Capitol Conversation series, Bente Birkeland takes a look at some of the highs and lows of the last four months.

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State lawmakers could be scrambling in the final days of the legislative session, with several big-ticket items still on the table. As part of our weekly capitol conversation series, Bente Birkeland examines why lawmakers will be going out with a bang, not a whimper.

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Education reform is likely to dominate the final stretch of the legislative session. Several big proposals to shift education policy are just beginning their journeys through the state house. Bente Birkeland discusses what’s on the table as part of our weekly capitol conversation series.

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Lawmakers are heading into the final stretch of the state’s legislative session with just under a month to go. As part of our weekly Capitol Conversation series, statehouse correspondent Bente Birkeland talks with fellow reporters about what to expect in the final weeks.

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Lawmakers say tasteful advertising on the crumbling state capitol dome could become a reality to help pay for much needed repairs. Bente Birkeland discusses the needs and why some people may not like it, as part of our weekly capitol conversation series.

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The state senate is poised to debate Colorado’s annual budget bill that funds state government and services. Lawmakers are facing a 1.3 billion dollar revenue shortfall. The house has already passed the budget. Bente Birkeland talks about that debate and takes a look ahead as part of our weekly capitol conversation.

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Colorado recently joined a dozen other states to sue the federal government to block the healthcare overhaul. The lawsuit focuses on the constitutionality of the individual health care mandate and penalties for people who fail to purchase health insurance. Bente Birkeland discusses the local impact as part of our Capitol Conversation series.

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A bill to close aging coal fired power plants along the Front Range and retrofit and replace them with cleaner burning natural gas facilities is making its way through the legislature. The measure requires the state’s largest utility, Xcel Energy, to come up with a plan to do so by this summer. Bente Birkeland examines [...]

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The legislature recently passed a bill requiring large electric utilities to get 30% of their energy from renewable sources by the year 2020, after hours of debate. It now awaits the Governor’s signature. As part of our Capitol Conversation series, Bente Birkeland examines why the issue has caused such partisan fighting this year.

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State lawmakers are about a third of the way through the legislative session. Bente Birkeland takes a look at some big-ticket items still left on the agenda as part of our weekly capitol conversation series.

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Apologies, which lawmakers apologize and which don’t? Who should and who shouldn’t, and what does the whole process say about the legislature and life under the gold dome? Bente Birkeland explores the issue as part of our weekly capitol conversation series.

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For the past several years, grocery and convenience stores in Colorado have been fighting for the right to sell more than 3-2 beer. Colorado is one of only a handful of states that still sells 3-2 beer, which came about after prohibition ended in 1933. Bente Birkeland examines how the issue is developing at the [...]

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Bills to eliminate roughly 140 million dollars in business tax exemptions have dominated discussions at the state capitol. The debate over the nine measures has pitted Democrats against Republicans, with Democrats arguing the cuts are necessary to balance the budget and protect money for K through 12 education. Republicans say a recession is the wrong [...]

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News

December 19, 2014 | NPR · This week, President Obama announced that he will begin to normalize relations with Cuba. Cuban-American writer Richard Blanco recommends a book about Cuba’s imprint on the American imagination.
 

Reuters /Landov
December 19, 2014 | NPR · Melissa Block talks to Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton about the cyber attack against his company and the cancellation of the Christmas Day release of The Interview.
 

AFP/Getty Images
December 19, 2014 | NPR · Students at several law schools say events in Ferguson and New York have left them too upset to study. Others are more concerned about how the extra study time will affect the grading curve.
 

Arts & Life

December 19, 2014 | NPR · This week, President Obama announced that he will begin to normalize relations with Cuba. Cuban-American writer Richard Blanco recommends a book about Cuba’s imprint on the American imagination.
 

Sony Pictures Classics
December 19, 2014 | NPR · Critic Bob Mondello says Mike Leigh’s earthy new biopic about the famed British painter J.M.W Turner shows viewers the incandescent beauty of the world as Turner himself must have seen it.
 

iStockphoto
December 19, 2014 | NPR · Tamales are a Christmas Eve tradition throughout Latin America, but there are hundreds of different versions. Whose is best? That’s a question likely to elicit a fiercely partisan response.
 

Music

Mountain Stage
December 19, 2014 | NPR · The bassist and singer based her latest album on memories of running away from home as a teenager.
 

Getty Images
December 19, 2014 | NPR · After more than a decade offstage raising his daughters, the singer is touring. “It’s like nothing is being held back,” he says. “You get to eat mashed potatoes with both hands instead of one.”
 

Courtesy of the artist
December 19, 2014 | NPR · Three decades after her first interview with him, Fiona Ritchie meets up with the Scottish musician, who’s known for a long career with the legendary Battlefield Band.
 

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