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

NPR
October 24, 2014 | NPR · New research suggests that curiosity triggers chemical changes in the brain that help us better understand and retain information.
 

Shenandoah Brettell
October 24, 2014 | NPR · Many Americans are not scared to reuse old clothes for new Halloween costumes.
 

AP
October 24, 2014 | NPR · The National Institutes of Health in Maryland announced that the 26-year-old who was infected while caring for a Liberian patient, has no detectable virus in her blood.
 

Arts & Life

Bill Franzen
October 24, 2014 | NPR · Earning honors for fiction, nonfiction and young children’s literature, respectively, the writers are the first to win the award. Also: The Bronx’s bookstore returns, while the U.K. shows off doodles.
 

Other Press
October 24, 2014 | NPR · Reporter Giuseppe di Piazza’s debut novel, The Four Corners of Palermo, follows an unnamed young reporter during the brutal early days of the mafia’s conflict with the Italian government in the 1980s.
 

Thomas Dunne Books
October 24, 2014 | NPR · Historian Peter Ackroyd’s new book surveys the history of England from the end of the Tudor era to the Glorious Revolution of 1688 — almost a century of war, debate and transformation.
 

Music

Tinnitus Photography
October 24, 2014 | NPR · Our recurring puzzler for careful listeners, this week featuring a selection of handpicked fills from Sleater-Kinney drummer Janet Weiss. Hear the drum fill (or intro) and match it to the song.
 

Courtesy of the artist
October 24, 2014 | NPR · Recorded with Liz Harris’ voice, a piano and not much else, Ruins achieves striking intimacy, its emotional heft commanding attention throughout.
 

October 24, 2014 | NPR · NPR TV critic Eric Deggans looks at the new documentary, Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown, featuring rare and never-before-seen footage. The film premieres on HBO Monday.
 

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