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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from Randy Credico Twitter account

A New York comedian who is also an activist on prison rights issues is drawing attention to the state’s practice of investing a small amount of its pension fund in the private prison industry.


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A new poll finds Governor Cuomo’s campaign for a phased in $15 an hour minimum wage is resonating among his base group of supporters. The Siena poll also finds the governor’s job approval rating is still at near record low levels.

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The push to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour is getting some help from union financed advertising, but it still has its opponents.


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A new poll finds that, for the first time, Hillary Clinton is viewed negatively by a slim majority of New Yorkers.

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​Governor Cuomo, in an address before the state’s business leaders,  promoted his economic development plans, including the Buffalo Billion initiative, and fended off questions on reports that some of the projects are under investigation by US Attorney Preet Bharara.


from Campbell Brown.com

The teachers union and its allies will protest outside the state’s annual Business Council meeting in Lake George on Wednesday.  The union is upset over a speech to be given by former CNN anchor and now charter school advocate Campbell Brown.


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Governor  Cuomo in the new legislative session will be  pushing for a bill to raise the minimum wage for all workers to $15 an hour, but some say it could backfire and result in fewer jobs.


The state’s education commissioner says she’s open to granting waivers to delay new teacher evaluation for an additional year, saying the new systems should not be hastily pushed through because of an arbitrary date.


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State Education Commissioner Mary Ellen Elia says she won’t prevent parents who want their children to skip the state’s standardized tests from doing so.


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Governor Cuomo’s labor commissioner is likely in the next few days to finalize a phased in hike in the minimum wage to $15 an hour for fast food workers. That action  dismays some business groups, who say it will have some unintended consequences.


A state Board of Elections investigator appointed by Governor Cuomo may have found a back door way into breaking some of the secrecy surrounding a major campaign contribution loophole in New York.


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The state education commissioner’s plans to quell the testing opt out movement is getting some backlash from some Republicans in the legislature, including a former teacher.


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The controversial state ethics commission is in the midst of a review by a panel appointed by Governor Cuomo and the legislature. Government reform groups say they’ve already been asked to give their opinions on how to fix some of the commission’s problems.

from Deborah Glick.com

New York’s first openly gay state legislator says it’s time to appoint an LGBT person to the state’s highest court.


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Governor Cuomo says he doubts that there will be  federal sanctions for schools that have high rates of students who boycotted standardized tests this spring.


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There has been an unusual focus on upstate New York among top state politicians from the downstate area in recent weeks. 


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A new school year is starting soon, and education officials say they will try to reverse a growing movement of parents having their children opt out of standardized tests.  The boycott could jeopardize a new system of teacher evaluations.

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The State Board of Elections recently issued its final report on an experimental public campaign finance system that had no participants.


Photo from Karen Dewitt

The state’s Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, a Bronx native, has spent a portion of the summer touring upstate New York. Heastie has been to several cities, including Buffalo, Binghamton and Utica.

Photo from Karen Dewitt

As the fourth anniversary of the devastating storms Irene and Lee approaches, the Cuomo Administration says it’s more ready than ever for hurricanes, floods, and other adverse weather events.

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Governor Cuomo has been making frequent trips to upstate cities this summer, touting his success in reviving the regions’ faltering economy. But a new report from the State Comptroller on job creation shows there is still some work to do.

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State Education officials say there’s some improvement in the Common Core related Math and English tests taken by third through eighth graders this year, but admit that two thirds of the students who took the test are still, essentially, failing the exams.

Governor Andrew Cuomo says he will try to get the state legislature to broaden an increase in the state’s minimum wage beyond fast food workers, but the newly appointed Deputy Majority Leader of the state Senate is throwing some cold water on that plan.


New York’s political world is focused on a race in the Southern Tier that could help determine the future of the State Senate.

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A fiscal watchdog group says it’s uncovered what it calls a "secret slush fund," used by Governor Cuomo and state legislators to fund pet projects around the state, but the governor’s budget office says the grants are subject to oversight. 

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Counties across New York are concerned over reports that sales tax collections are plummeting, they are asking Governor Cuomo’s tax department for a more detailed  explanation.

President Obama’s plan for national standards to curb power plant emissions is based, in part, on a cap and trade type program already existence in New York.

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State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli says he has no interest in challenging Governor Andrew Cuomo in a primary in three years, saying he prefers to seek re election as state Comptroller.

Schools across the state are bracing for a potential zero percent growth in their tax levy next year. While the latest provisions of an ongoing tax cap won’t take effect until the 2016 school year, the state schools boards association says schools are starting to worry now.

Two more lawmakers, a former Senate Leader and the Deputy Majority Leader of the Senate were convicted of corruption in the past week. But Governor Cuomo continues to say it would not be a good idea to call state lawmakers back to the Capitol to enact more ethics reform measures.

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