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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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.


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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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Bills to improve voter access advanced in a New York State Senate committee, but their ultimate passage is uncertain.

Assembly Democrats grilled Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s energy officials for more than four hours Monday about a plan executed by the Public Service Commission and a major energy company that will keep three upstate nuclear power plants alive for the next 12 years.


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President Trump’s tax plan is so far just a one page outline, but it’s already raising some red flags for New York’s political leaders.

The plan would slash corporate taxes and nearly double  the standard deduction, to $24,000 for married couples.  

But the proposal would also eliminate the practice of deducting state income taxes and local property taxes from federal income taxes, and that could harm taxpayers in states with high local taxes, like New York.

Governor Cuomo has been worried about the potential change for awhile.

WBFO File Photo

A bill that could address corruption in Albany is progressing in the New York State Legislature, but it might not be the measure that Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to become law.

WBFO Albany Correspondent Karen DeWitt

Several New York state lawmakers are sponsoring a bill that they say would force President Donald Trump to make his state tax returns public.


State lawmakers and lobby groups say Gov. Andrew Cuomo was in error when he said that there was no political will to enact reforms in 2017.


NewNYBridge.com

A fiscal watchdog group is questioning the state’s century-old prevailing wage law for construction workers, saying it unnecessarily costs taxpayers billions of dollars a year in added expenses for big road, bridge and other projects.


State lawmakers are due back at the Capitol Monday, following a two-week break  after they passed a budget that contained numerous other items, like free public college tuition for some middle class students and an expansion of ride hailing services. Here’s a look at what, if anything, lawmakers still need to do before adjourning in June.

Karen DeWitt

Environmental advocates say that New York State officials could do a better job of cleaning up pollution sites caused by the fossil fuels industry that they say in some cases, have dragged on for decades. Cuomo’s environmental aides defend their record.


National Public Radio

Governor Cuomo’s budget director is among those defending the state’s new free public college tuition program for some middle class students, after a week of criticism from the left and the right of the political spectrum.


Did passage of the state budget signal the end of Albany’s legislative session for 2017, or will other matters, including ethics reform, get done before the lawmakers adjourn in June?


governor.ny.gov

A residency requirement for college students seeking free tuition at New York’s public colleges is drawing criticism. Gov. Andrew Cuomo defended the late addition to the plan, approved as part of the state budget earlier this month.


Deals on some issues tied to the state budget are coming together as lawmakers rush to meet the budget deadline.


Karen DeWitt

With lawmakers in Albany preoccupied with getting the budget done by week’s end, groups have to get creative to gain attention. Supporters of spending for public defense for the poor came up with one way: a “Wheel of Fortune”-style game staged right in the middle of the action.


Karen DeWitt

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is warning that the state might not be able to add more money for schools this year because of uncertainties in Washington over federal funding.


WBFO File Photo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders plan to meet all week, but no agreements are finalized yet on a state budget that’s due Friday.


Many proposals in Washington right now including the changes to the Affordable Health Care Act, could mean multi billion dollar budget gaps for New York State. With the budget due this week, Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders think that at the very least, they may have to come back later in the year to revise the spending plan.


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Another sitting state legislator, Sen. Rob Ortt, has been indicted on corruption charges, along with George Maziarz, who held the western New York Senate seat before him. The indictments come as ethics reform proposals in the state budget are faltering.


Karen DeWitt

Proponents of raising taxes on New York’s wealthiest say they have a new impetus to increase the state’s revenue — the continued bad news from Washington about deep federal cuts to health care and other areas.


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