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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Karen DeWitt

While two major natural gas pipelines have been scrapped recently in New York, opposition is mounting against  a third, which would expand a line that is near the Indian Point Nuclear Power plant.


New York’s restrictive voter access rules came under scrutiny during Tuesday’s Presidential primary. And some are saying there’s a need for changes.

Charles Lane, WSHU

Two special elections were also held Tuesday, to fill the seats vacated by the two former legislative leaders, who were both convicted of felony corruption and had to resign.


WBFO file photo

Tuesday is not only New York’s Presidential primary. It also the day for two special elections to replace the disgraced former leaders of the legislature, who lost their seats after being convicted on multiple felony corruption charges.


Karen DeWitt

All three republican Presidential candidates  spoke at the state GOP dinner Thursday night.


A new poll finds that Bernie Sanders has narrowed the gap with Hillary Clinton in the New York Presidential primary race, but Clinton leads in key voting regions.

Karen DeWitt

Proponents of New York’s new medical marijuana law say so far, it’s barely functioning, and they say major revisions are necessary to allow more than just a tiny number of patients to benefit.


A quirk in the newly enacted minimum wage increase could mean that in  upstate New York by the early 2020’s,  fast food workers could  be paid significantly more than other low wage jobs, like being a home health care worker or a cashier in a grocery store.


The new state budget has been in place for nearly a week, but little attention has been paid to many of the items that are in it. A government reform group says that’s by design.


Karen DeWitt

Fracktivists, as anti hydro- fracking activists are called, hope to play a role in New York’s Presidential primary. They are asking Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, as well as Republican candidates, to take a stand against the Constitution pipeline and other natural gas pipelines, that if approved could criss- cross the state. 


Karen DeWitt

Prior to holding a rally at the Cohoes high school, Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton held an event in New York City with Governor Cuomo. The former New York Senator is scheduled to appear in Buffalo this Friday.


The newly approved state budget includes a minimum wage increase that is the result of several compromises.


File photo

State lawmakers went down to the wire Thursday night on meeting the state budget deadline and voting continued Friday, once all of the budget bills are finalized.


There’s a framework deal on the state budget  as the Thursday midnight deadline approaches, but it appears less likely that the midnight deadline for passage will be met.

Governor Cuomo and Legislative leaders have neared final agreements on the state budget. Voting could begin Thursday. 


Karen DeWitt

Lawmakers worked toward a budget deal Monday, as Governor Cuomo indicated he’s making some concessions on the minimum wage.


When the state budget is approved next week it will likely not include a discount for frequent users of the New York State Thruway. The legislature has rejected Governor Cuomo’s plan to use some of the state’s surplus to subsidize tolls.


WBFO News photo by Karen DeWitt

Top State University of New York officials say they want a tuition freeze at the state’s colleges and universities, and are asking Governor Cuomo and the state legislature to adequately fund SUNY in the budget  so that they don’t have to raise rates for students . The request co mes as lawmakers are scrambling to meet a March 31 budget deadline. 

nymmanow.com

New York State becomes the last state in the nation to legalize Mixed Martial Arts, following a 113-25 vote in the Assembly Tuesday. The bill was placed on the floor for a vote after a majority of Democrats backed the legislation.


Karen DeWitt

The newly elected Chancellor to the Board of Regents,  Betty Rosa, expressed grave doubts about the state’s use of standardized tests in the schools, saying if she were not on the Board of Regents, she would join the opt out movement and not permit her children to take the tests.


WBFO News File Photo

Governor Cuomo concedes that ethics reform is unlikely to be a part of the New York State budget, despite the conviction of the two legislative leaders on major corruption charges. Cuomo blames the legislature for lack of will to enact changes.


Karen DeWitt

People with developmental disabilities and their caretakers held a rally at the State Capitol Wednesday to ask Governor Cuomo for financial help if he’s successful in pushing through a $15 minimum wage.


Karen DeWitt

Lobbying for and against the minimum wage is intensifying at the State Capitol, with just over two weeks to go until the budget deadline.


Karen DeWitt

The Assembly and Senate have released budget positions that focus on taxes and spending policies, but very little on ethics reform, even though both former leaders of the legislature face prison sentences over corruption convictions. 


WBFO News file photo

Three new Regents elected by the legislature this week are expected to help lead an on-going reversal in education policy in New York, to less emphasis on controversial standardized tests.


Karen DeWitt

Senate Republicans say their version of the state budget will include a 9-year phase-in of tax cuts that would eventually total a 25 percent reduction for middle class taxpayers.


Chris Caya/WBFO News

An Assemblywoman from Western New York has been sanctioned by the Assembly ethics committee on charges she sexually harassed a male staffer.


WBFO News File Photo

A call by government reform groups for an open leaders meeting on ethics reform tuned into a spat between Governor Cuomo and the groups themselves.


Karen DeWitt

New Yorkers will soon get a chance to decide whether to hold a constitutional convention in New York- but some government reform groups say there needs to be some major changes made first- including banning double dipping by state lawmakers who might become delegates.


Groups that serve the disabled say there’s inadequate funding in Governor Cuomo’s budget to place thousands of adults with developmental disabilities into group homes. And they say a proposed $15 minimum wage will have a “devastating financial impact” for the not for profit groups.


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