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February 18, 2011

Illegal Immigrant Tuition Bill Clears First Committee

A bill that would let illegal immigrants who graduate from Colorado high schools pay in-state college tuition cleared the Democratic controlled senate education committee on a party line vote yesterday. The committee room was packed, and an opponent of the controversial bill even asked that all non-citizens be removed from the hearing room. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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February 17, 2011

Round-Up: Democratic leaders respond to budget proposal, and more

Top leaders in the Democratic controlled senate say parts of Governor John Hickenlooper’s budget are dead on arrival…and, Action 22, a group that represents 22 southern Colorado counties, opposes another element in the Governor’s proposed budget that would close a prison in Las Animas. The group says the Fort Lyon Correctional Facility is in an area in desperate need of jobs.

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February 16, 2011

Governor Calls for Deep Budget Cuts

Governor John Hickenlooper released a budget plan for next year that met with Republican praise and Democratic concern. Hickenlooper is proposing the deepest cuts in state history for K-12 schools. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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Filed under: Bente Birkeland,Capitol Coverage,Colorado,KRCC News — andrea @ 8:02 am

February 15, 2011

Round-Up: Hickenlooper releases state budget; US 50 still closed, and more

Governor John Hickenlooper released his budget today and is proposing the highest cuts to K-12 schools the state has ever seen…Crews are working on cleaning up a rockslide on U.S. 50 that occurred yesterday (see photo above)…and, Army leaders will gather at Fort Carson tomorrow for a symposium on rear detachments.

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(Image courtesy CDOT)

Constitutional Reform

A measure that would make it tougher to change the state constitution cleared a senate committee yesterday. Supporters of the proposal say the constitution is already too complicated and initiatives cost millions of dollars to defeat and defend in court. But as Bente Birkeland reports, Libertarian and Tea Party groups say the measure infringes on the people’s rights to petition the government.

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Filed under: Bente Birkeland,Capitol Coverage,Colorado,KRCC News — andrea @ 8:21 am

February 10, 2011

Arizona Style Immigration Bill Set to Die

One of the more controversial bills introduced in the state’s legislative session is scheduled to die before it even gets a hearing. A Republican house member says he plans to kill his own bill that would have adopted an Arizona style immigration law. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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Filed under: Bente Birkeland,Capitol Coverage,Immigration — andrea @ 7:06 am

February 8, 2011

Colorado GOP Chair Decides Not to Run for 3rd Term

Colorado Republicans will have a new state party leader after chair Dick Wadhams unexpectedly dropped out of the running for a third term. Bente Birkeland examines the impact of his decision and what it means for Republicans across the state.

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*Denver Republican Attorney Ryan Call, legal counsel for the state GOP, announced his candidacy for the chairmanship soon after this report.

Filed under: Bente Birkeland,Capitol Coverage,KRCC News,Politics — andrea @ 5:44 pm

Examining the State’s Joint Budget Committee

The job of balancing Colorado’s roughly 1.1 billion dollar budget shortfall largely falls on the shoulders of just six lawmakers. This bi-partisan group sits on the powerful joint budget committee that’s charged with writing the budget. Most of the members are new to the committee this year, and for the first time in several years it’s evenly split between Republicans and Democrats. Bente Birkeland examines the committee’s large task ahead and the challenges members face.

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Homeless Hate Crimes

A Democratic state senator is trying to expand Colorado’s hate crimes law to include the homeless. The measure cleared the senate judiciary committee yesterday on a party line vote. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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Filed under: Bente Birkeland,Capitol Coverage,Colorado,KRCC News,Legal,Poverty — andrea @ 7:06 am

February 7, 2011

Capitol Conversation: Slow Start to the Session

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 series.

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