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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Office of the Governor

The New York State Legislature on Monday held the first of two hearings on the thousands of COVID-19 deaths among nursing home residents. Questions to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s health commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker, focused on a controversial March 25 directive that required nursing homes to take back COVID-19 patients from hospitals.

Dan Clark / New York Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he’ll decide this week on whether schools can partially or fully reopen in September. Meanwhile, many school districts have been busy figuring out safe ways to reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic, and some have already made some preliminary decisions.

File Photo / WBFO News

School board members in New York are concerned they might not be able to successfully fully or partially reopen schools without an infusion of cash from the state or federal governments.

Office of the Governor

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has written a letter to New York’s congressional delegation, urging them not to settle for a federal stimulus package that does not include aid to states hard hit by the coronavirus. The plea comes as talks between House Democrats and Senate Republicans in Washington are down to the wire.

Office of the Governor

Gov. Andrew Cuomo reacted angrily Monday to news that a new plan to be released by Republicans in the U.S. Senate will not include aid to states and local governments hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Reed Saxon / AP

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he will take legal action against the federal government, after the U.S. Justice Department admitted in court papers that it was untruthful in its rationale for banning New Yorkers access to the Trusted Traveler Program for airline customers.


Flickr

The New York State legislature is approving a bill that would take away the licenses of real estate agents who engage in housing discrimination because of a person’s race.

In August, the New York State legislature will hold hearings on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s policy on nursing homes during the COVID-19 crisis, including a controversial March 25 directive that required the homes to readmit residents who were in the hospital with coronavirus. WBFO Albany Correspondent Karen DeWitt spoke with Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins as part of an interview with public radio and television. Stewart-Cousins said she is keeping an open mind.


Matt Ryan / New York Now

The New York State Legislature is wrapping up its business for 2020 at the state capital this week, in a session that is perhaps defined more by what lawmakers are not doing than what they have been doing.

Office of the Governor

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said 10 states have been added to New York’s quarantine list and four bars have been ordered closed in an attempt to keep the coronavirus from spreading again in the state.

Office of the Governor

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is threatening to shut down bars and restaurants in New York state if the establishments and local authorities don’t crack down on rules violations that Cuomo said could spread COVID-19.

The New York State Legislature is due back in Albany on Monday for a session that is expected to last several days. A growing number of lawmakers want to see new taxes on the wealthy on the agenda, and they're getting some help from nationally known Queens Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is imposing new rules on bars and restaurants across the state and limiting the sale of alcohol in some cases, as a way to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The New York State Legislature returns to the Capitol next week, and tenants’ rights advocates are pushing for the passage of bills to cancel rent payments and offer other protections for the duration of the coronavirus emergency. They say without some relief, a massive housing and potential homelessness crisis looms.

Many stores hold Christmas in July sales, but this year, Tax Day also comes in July.

Office of the Governor

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is tightening quarantine orders for of out of state travelers with high rates of COVID-19. Cuomo said travelers from the 19 states now on the restricted list will be required to fill out a form that includes the address of where they will be for the mandatory 14-day quarantine or there will be immediate repercussions.

Eileen Buckley / WBFO News

Go. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that New York public schools will be able to reopen this fall.

Office of the Governor

Law enforcement leaders and some Republicans in the New York State Legislature are pushing back against recent criminal justice reforms approved by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Democratic-led Legislature. They say a recent uptick in violent crimes might mean the new laws went too far, and they would like to see the policies reversed.

WXXI News

Health insurance companies regulated by the state are waiting to hear back about their requests for 2021 rate changes for premium holders. The companies, like nearly every other industry, face many uncertainties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and their requests vary widely.

Dan Clark / New York Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that shopping malls will be allowed to open in New York beginning Friday if they meet certain conditions. At the same time, citing ongoing concerns about the coronavirus, he said any remaining county fairs still planned for this summer are canceled, and he hasn't yet made a decision on any school openings in the fall.

Office of the Governor

A coalition of government reform groups say the New York State Legislature should consider limiting some of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s emergency powers gained during the pandemic and return, at least remotely, to meeting in session to set policy for the state.

Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker issued a report Monday on the likely cause of deaths from COVID-19 in New York’s nursing homes that he says shows the virus came in through infected staff, not through hospital readmissions. 

 

 


File Photo / WBFO News

New rules regarding who can be held on bail in New York state took effect Thursday. The new law rolls back some bail reform measures passed in 2019, and criminal justice advocates say it’s the wrong time to do it, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement.

The state’s ongoing fiscal crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic has led to temporary funding reductions for some cities and postponed planned pay raises for state workers. It has also led to reductions to some smaller programs, including a key organization that has helped New Yorkers with intellectual disabilities navigate the pandemic. The program is slated for significant cuts this month. 

Office of the Governor

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the rate of the COVID-19 virus continues to be low in New York, with 11 deaths on June 30, but he said he worries that compliance with safety rules is slipping.

Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is adding eight more states to a travel advisory list, as visitors from California, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada and Tennessee will now be required to self-quarantine for two weeks upon arriving in New York.

 

Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says New York is offering help to states like Texas and Arizona that are struggling with spiking COVID-19 infections, but is also talking with airport officials and federal border control officers on how best to enforce the travel advisory requiring travelers from states with high infection rates to quarantine for 14 days.

 

 


WBFO file photo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget office is temporarily withholding 20% of a state aid payment owed to several cities across New York, citing the COVID-19 pandemic-related revenue shortfall and budget deficit plaguing the state government.

 


Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are imposing mandatory quarantines for travelers from several states with high rates of the novel coronavirus, including Florida and Texas, effective midnight Wednesday.  

 


Office of Gov. Andew Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is contemplating a quarantine order on travelers to New York from other states with high rates of the novel coronavirus, including Florida.

 


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