Democratic state senator John Morse will take over as the next senate president in January. He previously served as the majority leader. Statehouse reporter Bente Birkeland sat down with him to talk about how he sees his new role and his hopes for the legislative session.

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State economists were in an optimistic mood yesterday, saying Colorado’s economy is performing better than the rest of the nation. As a result, lawmakers will also have more money to spend in next year’s budget than originally anticipated. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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Gun laws, marijuana reform, and oil and gas regulations will be just a few of the hot button issues that state lawmakers grapple with during the next legislative session. Governor John Hickenlooper and legislative leaders outlined their thoughts in a recent panel at the Colorado Press Association. Bente Birkeland has more from the state [...]

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President Barack Obama told ABC news today that he won’t make it a top priority to go after Colorado and Washington state for legalizing marijuana. But as statehouse reporter Bente Birkeland reports, the announcement still leaves many unanswered questions in Colorado.

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The state audit committee is the latest group to look into whether Republican Secretary of State Scott Gessler misused public funds. The bi-partisan committee voted unanimously today to move forward with an initial investigation. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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Energy regulators in Colorado are examining whether to increase the distance between oil and gas drilling sites and buildings such as schools and homes. They’re also considering a water-testing requirement that would need to be done before and after drilling takes place. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

Meanwhile, Colorado Springs City [...]

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Governor John Hickenlooper certified the election results of Amendment 64 today, which allows people 21 and over to grow and smoke small amounts of pot. As Bente Birkeland reports, the Governor also signed an executive order creating a marijuana task force to help state lawmakers craft new regulations.

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In our semi-regular sit down with Governor John Hickenlooper, he gives his take on statewide marijuana regulations, and explains why he doesn’t think the industry will be booming in the coming months. He also tells statehouse reporter Bente Birkeland why he’s not sold on a major overhaul to the state’s child welfare system in [...]

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During last month’s general election, Americans voted into office more gay and lesbian lawmakers than ever before. And in states like Wisconsin, Oregon and Colorado, gay and lesbian officials will hold some of the highest positions of power. Bente Birkeland takes a closer look at what’s driving the change.

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Newly-elected state lawmakers have spent the week at the capitol learning the basics of working under the gold dome. Freshman lawmakers are studying everything from the art of negotiating to the location of emergency exits. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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A state task force is forming to iron out the challenges of new marijuana regulations. The group will meet before lawmakers convene in January for the legislative session. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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Democrats will control both state legislative chambers when the session convenes in January. Lawmakers will be dealing with several controversial issues, including crafting regulations for recreational marijuana. Bente Birkeland talks to fellow statehouse reporters about what to expect and how the dynamics are likely to change.

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Civil unions supporters in Colorado won big during last week’s election, successfully targeting and ousting three Republican lawmakers over their opposition to civil unions. And as Bente Birkeland reports, many in the GOP feel the issue contributed to their losses.

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Colorado Democrats made history today by selecting the first openly gay man to be the speaker of the state House of Representatives. Bente Birkeland has more from the capitol.

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Democrats now have control of both chambers of the Colorado state legislature, putting the GOP in the backseat when it comes to next legislative session. Republicans had hoped to expand their one-seat advantage in the House of Representatives. Bente Birkeland has more from Denver.

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Going into Election Day, Republicans in Colorado hold a 2-point lead in early voting. The trend marks a contrast from the presidential election of four years ago when Democrats had the early voting edge. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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For the first time in years, the upcoming state budget will not be centered on making deep cuts. Governor John Hickenlooper unveiled his budget proposal today. It doesn’t include any major cuts and instead asks lawmakers for more money for education and economic development projects. State employees would also see a pay raise. Bente [...]

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Not only is Colorado a key swing state in the presidential election, this fall voters will also be deciding on a host of other races and issues. For instance, down ticket candidates will determine the makeup of the state legislature, and voters will also decide whether or not to legalize marijuana. Bente Birkeland talks [...]

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With the election now only one week away, nearly a quarter of Colorado voters have already caste their ballots. Early in-person voting ends on Friday. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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With the election now only one week away, nearly a quarter of Colorado voters have already cast their ballots…Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach has announced the formation of what he’s calling the Pension Solutions Team…El Paso County Health officials are reporting the first hospitalized flu patients this season…The National Wildlife Federation recently released the results of their Hunters and Anglers survey…and, more.

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President Barack Obama made one of his final stops in Colorado yesterday leading up to election day. The rally in Denver’s City Park comes just a day after Governor Mitt Romney held a campaign event at Red Rocks amphitheater. Bente Birkeland has more.

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The presidential race is tightening and both candidates are making a final push in key swing states including Colorado. More than 10,000 people filled Red Rocks amphitheater last night to see Governor Mitt Romney and his running mate Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan. Meanwhile, President Barack Obama is holding a rally in Denver today. Bente [...]

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Supporters and opponents of legalizing marijuana in Colorado faced off earlier this week during a two-hour debate. Colorado Christian University hosted the event. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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News

Reuters/Landov
January 25, 2015 | NPR · The reported assault is on a city about 100 miles southwest of where the Islamist extremist group killed as many as 2,000 people earlier this month.
 

Michael Dann
January 25, 2015 | NPR · When their students are asleep, these teachers are onstage in LA’s punk rock scene.
 

NPR
January 25, 2015 | NPR · Fleeing ISIS, an order of Dominican monks had to leave much behind. But when Father Najeeb Michaeel helped the Christian community escape, he took one thing with him: a collection of manuscripts.
 

Arts & Life

January 25, 2015 | NPR · Every answer today is a word starting with the letters A-R, which you will identify from its anagram. For example, given AR plus ROB, the answer would be “arbor.”
 

Roadside Attractions
January 25, 2015 | NPR · In his award-winning film, Xavier Dolan, 25, tackles the relationship between a single mom and her troubled son. He says, “I feel like I knew this kid. … He’s just the worst version of who I was.”
 

iStockphoto.com
January 25, 2015 | NPR · Critic Juan Vidal says winter is a time for turning inwards and warding off the chill with your favorite books, the ones you return to over and over again when the days get shorter and snow closes in.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
January 25, 2015 | NPR · Brian Elmquist, Kanene Pipkin and Zach Williams talk with NPR’s Rachel Martin about their new album, Then Came the Morning.
 

Courtesy of the artist
January 25, 2015 | NPR · Brothers Ethan and Zac Holtzman formed Dengue Fever in the late ’90s, inspired by 1960s Cambodian psych-rock. Rachel Martin speaks with them and singer Chhom Nimol about their album, The Deepest Lake.
 

AP
January 24, 2015 | NPR · Clinton, the founding father of funk, is the creator of the bands Parliament and Funkadelic. We’ll ask him three questions about another kind of parliament — namely, the British Parliament.
 

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