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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WBFO News photo by Karen DeWitt

Testimony began Thursday in the long-awaited hearing for Buffalo School Board member Carl Paladino. State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia is holding the hearing in Albany in response to a school board petition calling for Paladino's removal.


Barbara Bartoletti twitter feed

A busy legislative session in Albany has failed to produce any agreements on ethics reform, even though Albany is in the midst of a corruption crime wave. WBFO Albany Correspondent Karen DeWitt spoke to long-time League of Women Voters lobbyist Barbara Bartoletti about the lack of action.


The state Senate is likely to confirm Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s nomination to fill the latest vacancy on the state’s highest court. Judge Paul Feinman would be the first openly gay judge on the Court of Appeals.

WBFO Albany Correspondent Karen Dewitt

There was a flurry of activity — along with threats and ultimatums — on Monday at the State Capitol, but there were no agreements on major issues as the session draws to a scheduled close on Wednesday.

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The legislature is approaching its final week of the 2017 session, and agreements on outstanding issues, including mayoral control over the state’s largest school system, remain elusive.


Governor Cuomo has named the first openly gay judge to New York’s highest court. Paul Feinman, an appellate court judge and LGBT rights advocate, has been tabbed to fill a vacancy on the New York State Court of Appeals.


Karen DeWitt

A faction of breakaway Democrats known as the Independent Democratic Conference has been in the news lately for receiving stipend payments for chairing committees that the Senators in fact did not chair. Here’s a look at the history of this power-brokering group of senators and what may be in store for its future.


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Legislative leaders are dug in on remaining issues in the 2017 session and are accusing each other of unfairly linking unrelated items to renewal of mayoral control over New York City schools. Time is running out for scheduled meetings.


The New York State legislative session is drawing to a close and Democrats and Republicans are digging in on the remaining issues of 2017. Among them is a measure to extend the New York City mayor’s control of the public schools, which has now been linked to a number of diverse issues affecting people in the rest of the state.

The state budget has been in place for just less than two months and already there are signs that tax revenues may be significantly lower than expected. Anticipated federal tax reductions later this year may be one of the reasons.

WBFO Albany Correspondent Karen Dewitt

With less than two weeks left in the legislative session, some New York lawmakers are pressing for reform of the state’s economic development contracting process. The push comes in light of a scandal that has led to federal corruption charges against several former associates of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo vowed Tuesday to help defeat the state’s Republican members of the House of Representatives when they are up for election next year.


The New York State Legislature is back at the Capitol for three weeks of meetings before the session ends later in June. A number of advocacy groups say there’s an opportunity for lawmakers to act to address some of the harm that they say President Donald Trump’s policies are causing. But divisions in the Legislature may hinder any chance of achievements.


Supporters of a constitutional convention in New York say the amendment deserves prominent placement on the November ballot. Opponents say the entire idea is too risky, and that the state should skip it.


Governor Cuomo says he’ll sign an executive order committing the state to meet the Paris accord standards, calling President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the agreement “reckless” and “irresponsible."​


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President Donald Trump, who’s never been very popular in New York, has reached an all-time low in the opinions of voters, according to a new poll.


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A new poll finds New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is at his highest approval rating in three years. According to the Siena College poll, 61 percent of voters now say they view him favorably overall, and just over half 51 percent say they like the job he’s doing in office.


Karen DeWitt

Faith leaders from around New York came to the Capitol to gain support in the state Senate to adopt a statewide single-payer health care system. It would be an alternative to the national Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, which Republicans in Congress and President Donald Trump have been trying to dismantle.


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After an embarrassing controversy over stipend payments, the beleaguered group of breakaway Democrats in the state Senate is trying to change the subject.


Karen DeWitt

There are reports that state senators who received payments for chairing committees that they actually did not chair are now under a probe by the state attorney general and at least one U.S. attorney.


Karen DeWitt

The leader of the Senate Independent Democratic Conference for the first time publicly answered questions from the media about news stories that some of his members received stipends for committee chair positions that they do not actually hold.


Karen DeWitt

There are calls for a criminal investigation of some questionable stipend payments to some New York state senators. One of the senators who received those payments is giving it back, while another is calling the controversy a “witch hunt.”


School districts across the state are holding votes on their budgets Tuesday. While almost all of them are keeping their spending requests within the mandatory tax cap, some districts wonder whether the cap is sustainable over the long term.


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A new online ad featuring Gov. Andrew Cuomo and promoting tolerance has once again fueled talk that New York’s governor may be planning a presidential run. There are some questions, though, about the ad and its donors.

File Photo / WBFO Albany Correspondent Karen Dewitt

Voters get a chance to decide in the fall whether the state should have a constitutional convention. Both legislative leaders, however, say they are against it.

One of the top issues remaining before the state Legislature adjourns for the summer is fixing problems in the state’s economic development contracts. That’s after a scandal led to federal corruption charges against nine former associates of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.


Karen DeWitt

Some lawmakers are pressing the state’s comptroller to divest the state’s pension fund from the fossil fuel industry. But Comptroller Tom DiNapoli said he believes he can be more effective in changing the companies’ behavior by acting from the inside.


Some of New York’s leaders are expressing outrage over the Republican House of Representatives vote to undo the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.


Karen DeWitt

Democrats in the state Senate remain hopeful that they will regain the numerical majority and control of the chamber after a special election is held later this month. But Gov. Andrew Cuomo dampened those expectations, in remarks made Wednesday in New York City.


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.


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