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

Ways to Connect

WBFO File Photo

New York state’s education commissioner said Tuesday that new state-specific learning standards will offer several improvements over the controversial Common Core standards. This comes as students in grades three through eight across the state's 700 school  began the first of three days of math testing on Tuesday.


WBFO News File Photo

Bills to improve voter access advanced in a New York State Senate committee, but their ultimate passage is uncertain.

Assembly Democrats grilled Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s energy officials for more than four hours Monday about a plan executed by the Public Service Commission and a major energy company that will keep three upstate nuclear power plants alive for the next 12 years.


WBFO News File Photo

President Trump’s tax plan is so far just a one page outline, but it’s already raising some red flags for New York’s political leaders.

The plan would slash corporate taxes and nearly double  the standard deduction, to $24,000 for married couples.  

But the proposal would also eliminate the practice of deducting state income taxes and local property taxes from federal income taxes, and that could harm taxpayers in states with high local taxes, like New York.

Governor Cuomo has been worried about the potential change for awhile.

WBFO File Photo

A bill that could address corruption in Albany is progressing in the New York State Legislature, but it might not be the measure that Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to become law.

WBFO Albany Correspondent Karen DeWitt

Several New York state lawmakers are sponsoring a bill that they say would force President Donald Trump to make his state tax returns public.


State lawmakers and lobby groups say Gov. Andrew Cuomo was in error when he said that there was no political will to enact reforms in 2017.


NewNYBridge.com

A fiscal watchdog group is questioning the state’s century-old prevailing wage law for construction workers, saying it unnecessarily costs taxpayers billions of dollars a year in added expenses for big road, bridge and other projects.


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.


Pages