Oil and Gas companies operating in Colorado could soon face stricter reporting requirements when it comes spills. A bill lowering the reporting threshold passed its first committee yesterday. Bente [BEN tuh] Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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Democrats at the statehouse are working on a slate of bills aimed at revamping the oil and gas industry as the legislature moves into its final few weeks. A bill that would change the mission of the state’s Oil and Gas Commission cleared the full house today, despite strong Republican opposition. Bente Birkeland has [...]

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A bill to compensate Coloradans who are wrongfully imprisoned initially cleared the house yesterday with widespread bipartisan support. As Bente Birkeland reports, the measure was brought forward because of one particular case.

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The peak of the gun debate at the state capitol may be over, but the political ramifications are still unfolding. As part of our Capitol Conversation seres, Bente Birkeland discusses that dynamic, and President Barack Obama’s recent visit to Colorado.

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The state budget cleared the House today after a testy debate the night before. It passed with nine Republican votes, unlike the Senate, where it had no GOP support. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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State lawmakers are planning to introduce a bill to regulate recreational marijuana next week. A task force is wrapping up its work with a slew of recommendations. The group hopes to learn from the state’s experience regulating medical marijuana. But as Bente Birkeland reports, there are still some big issues to iron out.

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President Barack Obama visited Colorado yesterday to continue his push for stricter federal gun laws. During a speech at the Denver Police Academy, he praised what the state has done since last year’s Aurora and Newtown, Connecticut shootings. Bente Birkeland has more.

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A bi-partisan bill to create a legal limit for driving while high initially passed the House today. Supporters say it’s especially important now that Colorado has legalized the recreational use of marijuana. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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The state senate held a lengthy debate yesterday on a complicated plan to change how Colorado funds its K through 12 schools. The Democratic proposal initially passed the senate on a party line vote. At stake is one billion additional dollars for schools. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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State lawmakers are in the middle of debating the annual budget. And even though there’s more money than last year, Republicans are not happy with the bill. As part of our Capitol Conversation series, Bente Birkeland discusses the politics behind the budget and what’s driving the discussion.

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Bills on oil and gas and fracking are expected to dominate the latter part of the state’s legislative session. A measure to change the makeup of the agency that regulates the energy industry drew a large crowd at the capitol today. As Bente Birkeland reports, it cleared its first committee.

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The only requirement for Colorado lawmakers during the annual legislative session is passing a budget. And unlike previous years there won’t be cuts for programs like K through 12 schools, state contractors and public employees. But as Bente Birkeland reports, debate in the senate yesterday was still extensive.

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A bill to repeal Colorado’s death penalty died in a committee hearing over concerns that Governor John Hickenlooper would veto the bill. Last week the Governor told Democratic lawmakers he had serious reservations about the measure. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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State lawmakers are expected to debate the budget this week. It begins in the senate, and as Bente Birkeland reports, this is the first time in years the legislature will be able to significantly restore some cuts.

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A major re-write of how Colorado funds K through 12 schools is now making its way through the state legislature. As part of our Capitol Conversation series, Bente Birkeland analyzes how it would change school funding and its prospects for passage.

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Colorado is now the 8th state in the country to allow civil unions for same sex couples. Governor John Hickenlooper signed the measure into law yesterday in front of an enthusiastic crowd. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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Democratic sponsors of a bill to repeal the death penalty say they still plan to move the measure through the state legislature, despite concerns from Governor John Hickenlooper. The Denver Post reported that the Governor is hinting at a veto should it reach his desk. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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Governor John Hickenlooper signed a trio of gun control bills yesterday, just hours after news broke that Colorado’s top corrections officer had been gunned down in his home. While the moment was overshadowed by the news of Tom Clements’ death, gun rights groups say they will use the gun legislation as part of a [...]

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Governor John Hickenlooper signed three key gun control bills into law today. The most controversial would ban high capacity magazines to just 15 rounds. Another bill requires universal background checks for all gun purchases. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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Governor John Hickenlooper has ordered flags lowered to half-staff in memory of Department of Corrections chief Tom Clements, who was killed last night at his Monument home. A gunman killed him when he opened his front door. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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A bill to repeal the death penalty in Colorado got its first committee hearing at the capitol yesterday. The issue is especially personal for some lawmakers and is sure to be contentious as it moves through the statehouse. After a long debate the committee delayed a vote on the measure, and as Bente Birkeland [...]

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A measure to require more inspectors for oil and gas wells across the state is scheduled for a public hearing at the capitol tomorrow. It was the first drilling related bill introduced this session, and the sponsor hopes it will begin to address public concerns about hydraulic fracturing. Bente Birkeland has more from the [...]

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State lawmakers are a little more than halfway through the legislative session, and there’s been no shortage of drama and divisive issues. Bente Birkeland takes stock of what’s happened so far and what’s ahead as part of our capitol conversation series.

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News

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April 23, 2014 | NPR · People recover better from serious brain injuries if they’ve had more formal education, researchers say. They’re not sure why book learning promotes cognitive reserve.
 

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April 23, 2014 | NPR · French colonists planted cacao in Vietnam in the 1800s, but the crop was outpaced by coffee and cashews. Now French expats are helping the country become a respected producer of high-end chocolate.
 

April 23, 2014 | NPR · Realtors are seeing reasons for optimism in the housing market. As Kaomi Goetz of WSHU reports, one historic home sale suggests the high end of the market is booming again — in Connecticut, at least.
 

Arts & Life

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April 23, 2014 | NPR · Now that it’s more common to see gay characters on TV, is the medium turning to transgender people for fresh stories? NPR’s Neda Ulaby looks at TV’s crop of transgender and “gender fluid” characters.
 

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April 23, 2014 | NPR · What hath the Bard wrought? A legacy of words and idioms you’ll recognize from pop culture and even your own speech. On the occasion of his 450th birthday, Ask Me Another presents this handy glossary.
 

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April 23, 2014 | NPR · Meyers left a dream job hosting Saturday Night Live‘s Weekend Update to take over Late Night from Jimmy Fallon. Meyers says not having a mic in hand — like he did in standup — took some adjusting.
 

Music

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April 23, 2014 | WXPN · The inspirational singer’s new album is dedicated to the women of Africa. In addition to her performance, she talks about her work with UNICEF and the problems facing African women today.
 

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April 23, 2014 | NPR · This hour features classic combinations of musical trios who weave melodies and rhythms together into an intoxicating and perfectly balanced blend.
 

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April 23, 2014 | NPR · Make My Head Sing… is an album of contradictions. It’s full of unreliable narrators who sometimes revel in jealousy, willful insanity and drugs, even as her voice and the music suggest otherwise.
 

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