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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Governor Cuomo has been touting a massive infrastructure plan, but budget experts say much of the funding for the projects, estimated to cost $100 billion, remains unresolved.

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Governor Cuomo is scheduled to give his State of the State speech on Wednesday. The governor has already spent the past week rolling out a lengthy agenda for the New Year.


Governor Andrew Cuomo received a bit of good news just two days before he is to give his State of the State address. The governor and his office have been cleared of any wrongdoing in the premature closing of an ethics commission.

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Governor Cuomo has some big ideas for rebuilding the state’s neglected infrastructure. But will it come with a big price tag?

The opening day of the legislative session featured talk of ethics reform, but Governor Cuomo chose to be elsewhere, putting off his traditional State of the State message for another week, and giving speeches in Syracuse and New York City instead.


Governor Cuomo says he’ll increase funding to environmental projects as well as state parks, in his 2016 budget. The news was applauded by environmentalists, as well as some business leaders.


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Governor Cuomo won’t be giving his State of the State speech for another week, but he has already begun laying out his 2016 agenda. On Monday he held a rally to raise the minimum wage for all New York workers to $15 an hour.


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As of December 31,  New York State has no chief judge of the Court of Appeals. It’s the second time in recent years that either Governor Cuomo or the state Senate have missed a deadline to fill the slot.


Karen DeWitt

The second legislative leader to be convicted of corruption has now filed his retirement papers, and is eligible for an annual pension that could nearly reach six figures.


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Governor Cuomo this week announced plans for mass pardons of young people who commit non-violent crimes. It’s the latest in a string of actions Cuomo has taken in the past year in an attempt to get around opposition from some factions in the state legislature.


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Governor Cuomo continues to say that he will propose major reforms in the New Year, in the wake of the conviction of the two top legislative leaders on multiple corruption charges. But the governor, in a radio interview, says there’s only so far that he can go to reign in campaign donations.


An upstate business group is seeking tax cuts for small businesses in the New Year, and opposing Governor Cuomo’s plan to phase in a minimum wage hike to $15 an hour.

Advocates for paid family leave in New York say they hope 2016 is the year that the state finally provides a program to allow workers to take time off to care for a child, or a sick elderly relative.

Now that the two leaders of the legislature have been convicted on multiple counts of corruption, government reform groups are looking to the remaining politicians at the Capitol for reform. Polls show that the public is with them.


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The state’s education commissioner says no new laws are needed to reverse a proposal in this year’s state budget tying teacher performance reviews more closely to standardized tests.


The latest Siena College poll finds that most people agree with the corruption conviction of the state’s former longtime Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who was found guilty on seven counts two weeks ago.


Karen DeWitt

Governor Andrew Cuomo made anti-sexual assault legislation on college campuses a key part of his agenda in 2015. In part one of our week-long series Combating Campus Crime, WBFO Albany correspondent Karen DeWitt takes a look, six months after the signing of what’s called the “Enough is Enough” legislation, to see what has changed.

Karen DeWitt

The second of the state legislature’s two former leaders has now been convicted on multiple corruption charges after a jury lost no time in finding former Senate Leader Dean Skelos and son Adam guilty on all eight counts.


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Governor Cuomo continues to try to revise his role in creating the Moreland Commission. He now says the defunct commission was never intended to investigate to prosecute anyone. 


Photo from Karen Dewitt

The last time the state held a constitutional convention, Bobby Kennedy was senator. That was in 1967. 


The conviction of Sheldon Silver on corruption charges is not the end of legal proceedings for the former Assembly Speaker. He and his lawyers are expected to provide details of their appeal of the case.


Governor Cuomo and the current legislative leaders have downplayed efforts for new reforms in Albany, following the conviction of the former Assembly Speaker on seven counts of corruption.


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A lawmaker who was one of New York's most powerful politicians has been convicted by a federal jury of charges that he used the power of his office to earn $5 million illegally. 


At a hearing held by the State Assembly on expanded voting, advocates argued that New York needs to join more than half of the other state who offer some kind of extended voting.


Photo from Karen Dewitt

Audio recordings released by the US Attorney’s office at the corruption trial of Senator Dean Skelos aim to show that the Senate Leader and his son colluded to use Skelo’s official position to help his son get employment.

Photo from Karen Dewitt

Uber and other ride sharing services are gearing up to win permission from the state legislature to operate in areas outside New York City. State Senators held a round table discussion of how to craft legislation.


The New York State legislature is seemingly back to business as usual. But  there has been little public discussion about a corruption crisis that has led to the two most powerful men in the legislature both on trial in federal court this month.


The state’s education commissioner says parents who are thinking of opting their children out of standardized tests again this school year should stick with the exams, because they will be different than last year’s tests. But the state’s teacher’s union and a parents group says the changes don’t go far enough.


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Governor Cuomo says he won’t allow a natural gas transfer station to be built off of the coast of Long Island, saying  there are too many concerns, including damage form future hurricanes, and potential terrorism.


The leaders of school districts, teachers unions,  and parents are presenting a united front in calling for $2.2 billion more school aid next year.  They say a hard property tax cap with a zero percent increase is making it even more crucial that state lawmakers help them out.


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