Karen DeWitt

Albany Reporter

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Local
4:13 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Republican LG candidate takes aim at SAFE Act

Chemung County Sheriff Chris Moss

GOP candidate for governor Rob Astorino says his choice for a Lieutenant Governor running mate will be the Chemung County Sheriff, Chris Moss, an avid opponent of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s gun control laws.

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Local
7:24 am
Tue May 13, 2014

State parties preparing for conventions

Republicans will hold their state convention in Westchester County, the home of gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino.
Credit WBFO File Photo

The state’s Republican and Democratic Party conventions will be held over the next couple of weeks. Both major parties have chosen locations in the New York City suburbs.

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Politics
9:38 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Lt. Governor won’t seek reelection

Lt. Governor Robert Duffy, past appearance at Rich Products in Buffalo, NY.
Credit WBFO News file photo by Eileen Buckley

New York State’s Lt. Governor Robert Duffy says he will not be seeking re-election. Duffy, a former Rochester mayor, told WHAM-TV in Rochester that he won’t run with Governor Andrew Cuomo.

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Local
4:12 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Seeger recalled at Earth Day celebration

Though the debate over fracking in New York State dominated Albany's Earth Day celebration on Monday, time was set aside to remember the activist career of the late, legendary singer, Pete Seeger. 

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Local
4:45 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Prospective casino operators line up in Albany

Gaming Commission's Ed Berns listens to questions from prospective casino operators
Credit Photo by Karen DeWitt

Prospective casino operators got a chance to ask the Cuomo Administration questions about details of the process for choosing licensees for four upstate casinos.  They won’t get answers, though for several days.

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Local
4:45 am
Tue April 29, 2014

Unfinished business remains for legislative session

There’s around two months left in the legislative session, and a number of issues left on the agenda. But it’s uncertain how many of them will actually become law.

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Politics
5:00 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Conference focuses on future storm prep

Hurricane Sandy.
Credit Matthew Kraus / Some Rights Reserved

Governor Cuomo gathered local leaders from around the state to talk about reaction to past storms, and to plan for the next ones.

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Politics
4:45 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Moreland fallout continues for Cuomo

A new poll finds that Governor Cuomo is still feeling the fall out from the demise of his Moreland Commission, a  panel that was investigating corruption in the legislature. Cuomo disbanded the commission as part of the state budget deal.

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Local
4:36 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Study finds New Yorkers against school mergers

Credit WBFO File Photo

Despite a push from Albany to save money by combining services, a study by school administrators shows the public doesn’t want school mergers.

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Local
4:36 am
Mon April 21, 2014

More questions raised over state fracking review

Rallies against fracking have attracted protesters to Albany on several occasions.
Credit WBFO File Photo

Documents obtained by a group opposed to hydrofracking show that the Cuomo Administration is conducting a thorough and comprehensive health study on the controversial natural gas drilling process, a process that has been conducted almost entirely in secret.

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Local
11:22 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Assault weapon registration deadline is today

WBFO Albany correspondent Karen DeWitt reports

April 15 , besides being tax day, is the first day that owners of semi-automatic weapons will be required to register their guns with the state police. Gun owners who do want to comply say they are confused over how to register.

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Medical Marijuana
9:37 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Medical marijuana next big issue after lengthy spring break

Now that the state budget is done, the focus at the Capitol shifts to some other priorities, including whether to allow medical marijuana.  Advocates came to the Capitol to lobby lawmakers,  but the bill is getting bogged down over political skirmishes.

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New York Beverages
6:49 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

State's beer, wine and distillery summit now includes cideries

Governor Cuomo hosted a second beer, wine, spirits, and now, cider summit, to showcase one of the state’s few growth industries.

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Campaign Finance Reform
8:22 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Comptroller opts out of public finance, saying test program is flawed

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli

The state’s comptroller says he won’t be participating in a new pilot public campaign finance program agreed to in the state budget, and government reform groups say, they don’t blame him.

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Lobbying
4:30 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Report shows record lobbying in NYS

A new record has been reached in spending on lobbying in New York, according to a report released by the state’s  ethics commission. It finds over $200 million was spent, mostly by a few top interests, to try to influence government  and policy in Albany.

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Campaign Finance Reform
5:17 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Advocate Says Cuomo Missed Chance to Counter Act Supreme Court Ruling

The U.S. Supreme court decision McCutcheon v. FEC, striking down some campaign donation limits, is expected to have an effect in New York.  Reform advocates say Governor Cuomo and lawmakers missed a key chance this week to counter act the ruling.

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Moreland Commission
5:51 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Moreland panel dismantled as part of new ethics reform deal

Credit File Photo

The recently enacted state budget also marks the end of a commission that was investigating corruption in the legislature. Governor Cuomo agreed to dismantle the Moreland Act panel as part of a deal on ethics reform.

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State Budget
5:43 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Cuomo, legislative leaders celebrate budget grand slam

Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders

Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders are touting the virtues of the newly enacted state budget, but the spending plan has its share of critics.

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State Budget
6:00 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Some controversy surrounds new state budget

Protesters with Cuomo masks rally in Albany
Credit Photo by Karen DeWitt

Lawmakers were hurrying late Monday to complete work on the state budget before the midnight deadline, but the spending plan is not without some controversy.

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Politics
5:19 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Comptroller says public finance plan has serious flaws

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli

The state’s Comptroller says test public campaign finance plan that would apply only to his office is “seriously flawed”, and might even be unworkable.

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Local
8:47 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Legislators will vote on state budget today

Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders have finalized the details on a $138 billion state budget and say they are on track to meet tonight's deadline. The budget includes a multi-step plan that could  lower property taxes and $340 million for schools to start pre-K programs.

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Local
4:30 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Comptroller's race will test campaign finance systen

The new campaign finance system will focus on the Comptroller's race and ignore Governor Cuomo's $33 million campaign treasury.
Credit WBFO File Photo

Governor Cuomo and state lawmakers have agreed to a very limited form of campaign finance reform in the state budget, it would only apply to the state Comptroller’s race.

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Local
5:34 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

State lawmakers move closer to budget agreement

Legislative leaders say they are working together and are close to a budget agreement, after a blow up that left the Senate and Assembly leaders negotiating separately with Governor Cuomo.

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Local
4:50 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Education advocates press Cuomo for more funding

Governor Cuomo finds himself under fire for the level of state education spending.
Credit WBFO File Photo

Education funding advocates, including actress Cynthia Nixon, made a last-minute pitch for extra money for schools in the state budget. Meanwhile, a new poll finds many New Yorkers think the quality of education in the state is deteriorating.

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Local
4:49 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Budget talks expected to heat up this week

The next several days will be crucial for negotiations on the state budget.

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Local
8:17 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Budget protesters arrested outside governor's office

Arrested protesters accuse Governor Cuomo of giving tax breaks to the wealthy while ignoring the state's social needs.
Credit Photo by Karen DeWitt

Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders continue to meet behind closed doors to hash out a budget deal, while outside the governor’s offices around 25 angry protesters were arrested.

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Local
8:40 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Activists push for more Albany transparency

Government reform activists took their smart phones into Assembly Committee meetings to live stream meetings that so far have not been available on line to the public.

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Local
9:57 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Dream Act supporters vow to fight on

The Dream Act failed in the state Senate this week.
Credit File photo

WBFO Albany correspondent Karen DeWitt reports

Supporters of Dream Act legislation say they were “set up” when a hastily arranged vote on the bill in the Senate chamber late Monday led to the measure’s failure by just one vote. The focus is now shifting to Governor Cuomo. Backers say they will try to get the governor to put the measure into the state budget.

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Local
5:16 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Dream Act dies in State Senate

The Dream Act is dead for now in New York State, after the State Senate voted down the measure that would have granted college tuition aid to the children of undocumented immigrants.

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Local
4:55 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Albany budget battles to focus on education issues

Inside a Buffalo classroom.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

The Senate and Assembly are set to begin conference committee meetings today, now that both houses have finished with their resolutions laying out their positions.

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