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

Karen DeWitt

New York’s delegation to the RNC is the national spotlight for casting the votes to put Donald Trump over the top for the Presidential nomination in Cleveland this week. But not all of the state’s politicians are in agreement over some of Trump’s most controversial foreign policies.


WBFO Albany Correspondent Karen DeWitt

The Republican candidate for U.S. Senate running against Chuck Schumer is facing great odds in her campaign against the powerful and popular third-term Senator. Wendy Long addressed the New York delegation Tuesday.

WBFO News File Photo

The Republican National Convention begins in Cleveland Monday, with New York State Republicans hearing from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Tennessee Senator Bob Corker,  who are billed as official Trump-Pence surrogates, as well as CNBC contributor Larry Kudlow.


Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has offered only lukewarm support in the past for his fellow Democrats in their quest to take over the state Senate, said this week that he would back Democratic candidates in Senate races. He also somewhat reluctantly offered support to his former primary rival, Zephyr Teachout, who is now running for Congress.

Supporters of the two outsider candidates in the Presidential race are finding obstacles to attending the national conventions in Philadelphia and Cleveland, held during the next couple of weeks.

It is summer vacation for school children, but leaders of New York’s rural schools are worrying about the new school year and say they are squeezed by a tax cap and other factors.


WBFO Albany Correspondent Karen DeWitt

Governor Cuomo’s administration is facing greater scrutiny over handling of the Hoosick Falls water crisis. In recent days a Congressional committee opened an inquiry and both the state Assembly and Senate will hold hearings.


One of the centerpieces of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s economic development plans has created just a small number of jobs so far, but the governor is urging patience.

Alliance for Quality Education

It’s been 10 years since New York’s highest court ordered that more state money be paid to schools with the poorest children. But advocates say in the decade since the 2006 ruling, many so called high needs schools have fallen even further behind.


Governor.NY.gov

Governor Andrew Cuomo is trying to focus on positive actions in his public events in recent days as a federal investigation into his administration’s economic development programs continues.


Eileen Koteras Elibol

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders made the second stop in his ‘where do we go from here’ tour in Albany Friday afternoon. He told a small but loyal group of supporters that he will fight to get key items into the national Democratic Party platform, including a nationwide $15 minimum wage, and has been in talks with Hillary Clinton’s campaign over a greater focus on progressive issues.


courtesy wnyhomeless.org

Some Homeless advocates are dismayed by what they say is Governor Cuomo’s  failure at the end of the legislative session to follow through with promises to fund five years worth of new supportive housing and other services for the homeless. Their complaints come as the State Comptroller issues a scathing report on the state of homeless shelters across New York.


What began in January as an ambitious reform package to address a wave of corruption at the Capitol, proposed by Governor Cuomo, dwindled to just two proposals by the time the session closed in the pre-dawn hours of Saturday morning. 


Karen DeWitt

Lawmakers wrapped up the 2016 legislative session at around 5 a.m. Saturday morning, agreeing to take steps to cancel the pensions of convicted lawmakers in the future, legalize daily fantasy sports and extend New York City’s mayoral control law for another year.


Karen DeWitt

The legislature was closing down on an end of session  deal that would strip convicted lawmakers of their pensions, extend mayoral control of New York City schools for one more year and legalize Daily Fantasy sports gambling.


Hoosick Falls residents came to the Capitol on Wednesday to demand hearings on the water crisis that has revealed high levels of a toxic chemical in many people’s blood streams.


Karen DeWitt

With the legislative session down to the wire, groups for and against bills including expansion of Uber ride services and ethics reform came to the Capitol to make their voices heard.


Karen DeWitt

As part of the push to end the legislative session by Thursday, state lawmakers representing the PFOA contaminated village of Hoosick Falls want to extend the statute of limitations to bring lawsuits against polluters.


twitter.com

There are only three more days left in the legislative session and lawmakers are talking with Governor Andrew Cuomo about a number of bills, but keeping details close to the vest.


The assemblymember who represents Hoosick Falls is calling for a federal investigation after revelations that Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration knew about elevated levels of a toxin in the village’s water for a year and a half before residents were warned.

Governor Andrew Cuomo's Office

Until recently, Dr. Alain Kaloyeros, director of the SUNY Polytechnic Institute, has been the darling of the Cuomo administration. But now, he’s one of the figures at the center of federal and state investigations into alleged pay-to-play schemes for economic development projects and is increasingly on the outs with the Cuomo Administration.


Karen DeWitt

Expectations for major ethics reform in the state legislature are low, even though both former leaders of the legislature are facing prison time for corruption. With just over a week to go before the session ends, only one measure — to take back the pensions of lawmakers who are convicted felons — seems to be in play.


WBFO News File Photo

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has been asked by two Western New York lawmakers to review governor Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion economic development projects. The Comptroller says an on going audit is already looking at some aspects of the increasingly controversial project.


Two separate bills to legalize and regulate daily fantasy sports and some other forms of gambling are moving through the legislature, but anti-gambling groups say they should be stopped.


Bart Schwartz Twitter account

It’s been over a month since Gov. Andrew Cuomo hired a special investigator in response to a federal probe of his Buffalo Billion project. But so far, no contract with that investigator, Bart Schwartz, has been released, and questions remain about what exactly he is investigating.


WBFO News File Photo

With just a few weeks left until the end of the legislative session, a new poll finds New York voters are still craving reform in state government, and they’d rather not see a new law to expand state gambling by legalizing daily fantasy sports.


The state legislature ends its session for the year on June 16, and expectations are low for any major pieces of legislation to be resolved before the adjournment, as Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration faces increasing scrutiny from the U.S. attorney over economic development projects.


SUNY Polytechnic Institute

Probes into alleged corruption by former members and associates of the Cuomo Administration deepened Thursday afternoon, as the Attorney General’s office conducted a raid at SUNY Polytechnic offices in Albany.


Karen DeWitt

A board controlled by Governor Andrew Cuomo and the legislative leaders voted Wednesday to approve more than $485 million for the Buffalo Billion project. But there were some questions from board members about details of a program that is now under federal investigation.


Governor Cuomo has released a bill on closing a loophole that allows for unlimited big money donations to candidates. The LLC loophole has played a key role in the federal corruption trials of both former leaders of the legislature, and may be a factor in the ongoing federal probe of the governor’s economic development projects.


Pages