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

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.


NYS Assembly Amy Paulin website

A bill to make it legal for terminally ill patients to end their lives is being debated in the New York legislature. While many have compelling personal cases for allowing the practice, others, including the Catholic Church, remain opposed. 


WBFO News File Photo

Home health care agencies are the latest group to come out against Governor  Cuomo’s plan to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.


Matt Ryan New York Now

Governor Cuomo’s been spending more time on the road than at the State Capitol in recent weeks, on an election style campaign to promote his ideas, including a $15 minimum wage.


Mental health groups say they are being left out of a massive reshuffling of the state’s Medicaid program, and  that people with mental illness transitioning back to their communities will suffer.


Karen DeWitt

The New York State Comptroller has issued an audit finding that Governor Cuomo’s administration has dropped the ball on some aspects of policing nursing homes.


Anthony Tassarotti, WMHT

A New York Congressman recently announced that he’s taken the first steps toward running for governor in 2018. Chris Gibson, a Republican, would likely face Governor Andrew Cuomo, who’s already said he wants to seek a third term.


The state’s leading business group is warning that Governor Cuomo’s paid family leave proposal will be costly for employers and difficult for them to manage.

Audio Pending...

Karen DeWitt

High schoolers in Hoosick Falls say they are tired of the slow response by the adults in the community, and government, to toxic substance PFOA which has infiltrated the village water system and made it unsafe to drink.


WBFO News File Photo

Cheap gas prices are making consumers happy at the pump, but not everyone is benefiting from the lower prices. New York’s counties, who impose a sales tax on gasoline, have lost over $200 million in revenues.


Governor Cuomo’s Administration has released a report that it says shows the benefits of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next few years.  Business groups charge the study is biased.


WBFO News File Photo

Local governments and schools say they are struggling over a property tax cap that will allow what amounts to a zero percent increase in tax levies in the coming year. But Governor Cuomo, says they’ll  likely have to stick with those rules.


Karen DeWitt

The US Attorney who convicted both of the leaders of the legislature came to Albany Monday to speak to a conference of the state’s mayors. But Preet Bharara was not invited to the State Capitol itself.


WBFO News File Photo

A left leaning thank tank is out with its assessment of Governor Cuomo’s budget. They say there’s a lot to like and dislike about it.


Pages