Karen DeWitt

Albany Reporter

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. WBFO listeners are accustomed to hearing DeWitt’s insightful coverage throughout the day, including expanded reports on Morning Edition.

DeWitt is a past recipient of the prestigious Walter T. Brown Memorial award for excellence in journalism, from the Legislative Correspondents Association, and was named Media Person of the Year by the Women’s Press Club of New York State.

DeWitt has served as a panelist for numerous political debates, including the 2014 gubernatorial debate sponsored by WNED|WBFO

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Local governments and schools say they are struggling over a property tax cap that will allow what amounts to a zero percent increase in tax levies in the coming year. But Governor Cuomo, says they’ll  likely have to stick with those rules.


Karen DeWitt

The US Attorney who convicted both of the leaders of the legislature came to Albany Monday to speak to a conference of the state’s mayors. But Preet Bharara was not invited to the State Capitol itself.


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A left leaning thank tank is out with its assessment of Governor Cuomo’s budget. They say there’s a lot to like and dislike about it.


Karen DeWitt

The issue of whether to tax the wealthiest New Yorkers at a higher rate is once again a topic at the State Capitol.


Karen DeWitt

The State Assembly approved a one-house bill to establish partial paid family leave in New York, as Governor Cuomo signaled he will amend his proposal to provide more money to those who take the leave.


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A poll finds that voters overwhelmingly support a number of Governor Cuomo’s priorities for 2016, but New Yorkers still hold mixed views about the governor himself.


Some lobbyists, as well as government reform groups, say a new rule approved by the state’s ethics commission that would require them to report contact with the news media in some cases, violates First Amendment rights and would have chilling effect.


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The state’s education commissioner Mary Ellen Elia spent nearly four hours before the legislative budget committees on Wednesday.


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Tensions between upstate Senators and the Mayor of New York City were highlighted during a budget hearing on aid to local governments in Albany, when lawmakers questioned the mayor for over five hours.


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It’s been more than 40 years since the Roe v Wade decision legalizing a women’s right to choose an abortion, but advocates say New York lawmakers have yet to translate the provisions of the landmark Supreme Court decision into law in the state.


Reform groups are giving Governor Cuomo an A for effort on his ethics proposals, but they say some of them need to go further, and Cuomo needs to follow through and actually get the plans  enacted into law.


Karen DeWitt

The State Senate held a confirmation hearing for  Governor  Cuomo’s choice for the state’s Chief Judge, Westchester DA Janet DiFiore.


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Eight years after the stock market crash and the start of the Great Recession, the State’s Senate Leader say it’s time to get rid of a law that limits funding to some schools. The measure was created when the state had a $10-billion-dollar budget deficit, now, the state is running  surpluses.


Governor Cuomo has been touting a massive infrastructure plan, but budget experts say much of the funding for the projects, estimated to cost $100 billion, remains unresolved.

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Governor Cuomo is scheduled to give his State of the State speech on Wednesday. The governor has already spent the past week rolling out a lengthy agenda for the New Year.


Governor Andrew Cuomo received a bit of good news just two days before he is to give his State of the State address. The governor and his office have been cleared of any wrongdoing in the premature closing of an ethics commission.

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Governor Cuomo has some big ideas for rebuilding the state’s neglected infrastructure. But will it come with a big price tag?

The opening day of the legislative session featured talk of ethics reform, but Governor Cuomo chose to be elsewhere, putting off his traditional State of the State message for another week, and giving speeches in Syracuse and New York City instead.


Governor Cuomo says he’ll increase funding to environmental projects as well as state parks, in his 2016 budget. The news was applauded by environmentalists, as well as some business leaders.


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Governor Cuomo won’t be giving his State of the State speech for another week, but he has already begun laying out his 2016 agenda. On Monday he held a rally to raise the minimum wage for all New York workers to $15 an hour.


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As of December 31,  New York State has no chief judge of the Court of Appeals. It’s the second time in recent years that either Governor Cuomo or the state Senate have missed a deadline to fill the slot.


Karen DeWitt

The second legislative leader to be convicted of corruption has now filed his retirement papers, and is eligible for an annual pension that could nearly reach six figures.


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Governor Cuomo this week announced plans for mass pardons of young people who commit non-violent crimes. It’s the latest in a string of actions Cuomo has taken in the past year in an attempt to get around opposition from some factions in the state legislature.


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Governor Cuomo continues to say that he will propose major reforms in the New Year, in the wake of the conviction of the two top legislative leaders on multiple corruption charges. But the governor, in a radio interview, says there’s only so far that he can go to reign in campaign donations.


An upstate business group is seeking tax cuts for small businesses in the New Year, and opposing Governor Cuomo’s plan to phase in a minimum wage hike to $15 an hour.

Advocates for paid family leave in New York say they hope 2016 is the year that the state finally provides a program to allow workers to take time off to care for a child, or a sick elderly relative.

Now that the two leaders of the legislature have been convicted on multiple counts of corruption, government reform groups are looking to the remaining politicians at the Capitol for reform. Polls show that the public is with them.


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The state’s education commissioner says no new laws are needed to reverse a proposal in this year’s state budget tying teacher performance reviews more closely to standardized tests.


The latest Siena College poll finds that most people agree with the corruption conviction of the state’s former longtime Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who was found guilty on seven counts two weeks ago.


Karen DeWitt

Governor Andrew Cuomo made anti-sexual assault legislation on college campuses a key part of his agenda in 2015. In part one of our week-long series Combating Campus Crime, WBFO Albany correspondent Karen DeWitt takes a look, six months after the signing of what’s called the “Enough is Enough” legislation, to see what has changed.

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