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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State lawmakers are due back at the Capitol Monday, following a two-week break  after they passed a budget that contained numerous other items, like free public college tuition for some middle class students and an expansion of ride hailing services. Here’s a look at what, if anything, lawmakers still need to do before adjourning in June.

Karen DeWitt

Environmental advocates say that New York State officials could do a better job of cleaning up pollution sites caused by the fossil fuels industry that they say in some cases, have dragged on for decades. Cuomo’s environmental aides defend their record.


National Public Radio

Governor Cuomo’s budget director is among those defending the state’s new free public college tuition program for some middle class students, after a week of criticism from the left and the right of the political spectrum.


Did passage of the state budget signal the end of Albany’s legislative session for 2017, or will other matters, including ethics reform, get done before the lawmakers adjourn in June?


governor.ny.gov

A residency requirement for college students seeking free tuition at New York’s public colleges is drawing criticism. Gov. Andrew Cuomo defended the late addition to the plan, approved as part of the state budget earlier this month.


Deals on some issues tied to the state budget are coming together as lawmakers rush to meet the budget deadline.


Karen DeWitt

With lawmakers in Albany preoccupied with getting the budget done by week’s end, groups have to get creative to gain attention. Supporters of spending for public defense for the poor came up with one way: a “Wheel of Fortune”-style game staged right in the middle of the action.


Karen DeWitt

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is warning that the state might not be able to add more money for schools this year because of uncertainties in Washington over federal funding.


WBFO File Photo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders plan to meet all week, but no agreements are finalized yet on a state budget that’s due Friday.


Many proposals in Washington right now including the changes to the Affordable Health Care Act, could mean multi billion dollar budget gaps for New York State. With the budget due this week, Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders think that at the very least, they may have to come back later in the year to revise the spending plan.


Photo from www.robortt.com /

Another sitting state legislator, Sen. Rob Ortt, has been indicted on corruption charges, along with George Maziarz, who held the western New York Senate seat before him. The indictments come as ethics reform proposals in the state budget are faltering.


Karen DeWitt

Proponents of raising taxes on New York’s wealthiest say they have a new impetus to increase the state’s revenue — the continued bad news from Washington about deep federal cuts to health care and other areas.


WBFO File Photo

A provision to shift Medicaid health care costs in New York from counties to the state as part of the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act by Congress is meeting with a cool reception from state leaders.


WBFO File Photo

The next two weeks at the New York State Capitol are going to be very busy as lawmakers face the deadline for a new budget. Several issues remain unresolved.


Preet Bharara's twitter account

Now that Preet Bharara is no longer the U.S. Attorney for the southern district of New York, some in Albany wonder who will now be investigating potential corruption?


Tensions between opposing groups of Democrats in the Senate reached a flash point this week- over whose faction would be allowed to present their budget priorities for a floor debate, in an exchange that included some racially charged  name calling.


Matt Ryan New York Now

The state Legislature’s one-house budgets make some changes to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s $163 million proposal to offer free tuition at public colleges in New York to some middle-class students.

WBFO File Photo

The New York State Senate and Assembly will release their one-house budgets early next week, as the March 31 deadline for a new spending plan draws near. They have already given some hints as to what the plans will include.


Crystal Graphics

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s health department is analyzing the plan in the Republican Congress to overhaul the Affordable Care Act and finds it carries a heavy price tag for New York.

Karen DeWitt

Members of a leading senior citizens lobby group are advocating for a retirement plan in New York that could benefit their children and grandchildren.


National Public Radio

A provision in the Affordable Care Act replacement plan by Republicans in Congress sets up a potential clash with New York state over abortion coverage.


Karen DeWitt

The state budget is due in 3 1/2 weeks, but the biggest push at the Capitol is for a change that is not a spending item. It’s a measure to treat 16- and 17-year-olds as children, not adults, when they are charged with serious crimes.


www.entergy-nuclear.com

The New York State Assembly held a hearing Monday on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to spend $8 billion in subsidies to keep three upstate nuclear power plants operating for the next 12 years - but no one from the Cuomo administration showed up.

New York’s health care system is bracing for big changes in the Affordable Health Care Act. No one knows for certain how it will  be altered, but it will almost certainly cost the state a significant amount of money.


WBFO File Photo

Reform advocates are taking exception to remarks made by Governor Cuomo, who said there already is enough oversight of potentially corrupt activities in Albany.


Just one month before the state budget is due, numerous interest groups are converging on the State Capitol, asking that they be included in the budget.


WBFO File Photo

A new poll finds that in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s numbers are rising while President Donald Trump’s are sinking.


courtesy New York Now

Judith Enck, the former regional administrator of the EPA under President Barack Obama, said the new head of the EPA under President Donald Trump threatens to roll back major environmental regulations, including climate change actions and pollution protections.


National Public Radio

The Trump administration’s decision to rescind protections for transgender students will not affect New York state, according to the state’s education commissioner and legal experts. But they say the action nevertheless sends a “terrible message” to transgender teens.


The New York State Legislature is off this week, but the session so far has featured an unusual amount of protests and arrests - and more actions are expected when lawmakers return.


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