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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Sweeping reforms that will end cash bail for all misdemeanor and nonviolent felony charges in New York state take effect in January. But some law enforcement groups are objecting, saying the changes go too far and could jeopardize public safety.

There were mixed reactions Wednesday from New York's politicians and political parties on this year's election results.

Carla K. Johnson / AP

The USDA released long-awaited regulations on CBD this week that will provide more federal regulation of the growing of hemp plants, where CBD comes from. Meanwhile, in New York, a bill that would regulate CBD is in limbo. The State Legislature has approved it, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo hasn’t acted on it yet.

Eileen Koteras Elibol/WBFO News

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said “good riddance” to the news that President Donald Trump is changing his official residence from New York to Florida.

Karen DeWitt

Over 130,000 New Yorkers have already voted in the November elections as part of the state’s first-ever early voting system. And those who are closely watching say so far, it’s been a largely successful rollout.


The chair of the State’s Democratic Party, Jay Jacobs, found himself on the defensive after a leaked email revealed a proposal that could weaken minor parties backed by progressive Democrats, and strengthen the state’s Conservative Party.


Karen DeWitt

Two majority-party state lawmakers have introduced a bill that would give customers in cafes, fast-food shops and even some restaurants the option to use their own container for coffee or water, or to bring home leftovers.


WBFO file photo

It seems increasingly likely that a special election for the western New York congressional seat vacated by the disgraced Chris Collins will be held the same day as New York’s presidential primary in April -- and that has Republicans in the state crying foul.


A commission formed to create a public campaign financing system for New York elections reversed course this week, during a vote on how to structure a matching donor system.

New York’s first-ever early voting begins Saturday and runs through Sunday Nov. 3. The new system is a little wobbly and a little confusing. Karen DeWitt sat down recently with the League of Women Voters' Laura Ladd Bierman to help explain how it will work.


Republican leaders in the New York Legislature are speaking out against a commission that is creating a public campaign financing system for state elected offices, saying the panel is fatally flawed.


The state’s new early voting system doesn’t begin until Saturday, but some lawmakers and voting rights advocates already want changes to the law.

File Photo

The state's Republican Party chair is angered over the news that a commission to create a public campaign finance system for New York state will issue its report on Thanksgiving Eve -- traditionally a time when politicians release items that they want to downplay.

New York State Governor's Office

The governors of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania met Thursday in New York City to try to hash out a multi-state approach to legalizing the adult recreational use of marijuana.

New York State Department of Health

A policy seminar titled Medicaid Migraine, held Wednesday by the fiscal watchdog group the Empire Center as part of the Gov. Hugh L. Carey Policy Forum, addressed the rapidly increasing health care costs in New York that led to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget office delaying a $1.7 billion payment to providers last year.


Eileen Elibol / WNED|WBFO

A poll out Tuesday finds that the majority of New Yorkers approve of the impeachment inquiry conducted by House Democrats against President Donald Trump.


New York state’s public campaign finance commission met for several hours on Columbus Day to discuss the nuts-and-bolts details of how to implement a matching public donor system for statewide races.


A New York commission formed to come up with a plan to publicly finance state election campaigns will hold a special meeting on Columbus Day.


Karen DeWitt

The Audubon Society is out with a study that shows two thirds of the species of birds in North America are at risk of extinction, with as little as a warm up of 3 degrees centigrade or around 5 degrees Fahrenheit. Karen DeWitt went to find someone from the group to talk to, and some birds. 

File photo / WBFO News

New York has now reported the first death related to an epidemic of vaping-related illnesses, with the state health department saying the male victim is a 17-year-old from the Bronx. 


A state commission to oversee the 2020 census count for New York state adopted its action plan Tuesday. But immigrant rights groups worry that it’s too little, too late.


The New York State Health Department has decided to put off a ban on menthol-flavored nicotine vaping products until a court case challenging an earlier ban on other flavored e-cigarettes is resolved. 

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul is staying in her current job, even though some have called for her to run for the western New York congressional seat that’s vacant after Chris Collins resigned.

Collins pleaded guilty to federal charges related to insider trading.

Hochul spoke to WWXI’s Karen DeWitt.


New York State

New York's Medicaid budget is growing at a faster rate than the state can currently afford. That comes as a published report alleges a potential pay-to-play arrangement between a large hospital association and Gov. Andrew Cuomo's 2018 re-election campaign.

Governor.ny.gov

Gov. Andrew Cuomo clarified his views on the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump's behavior on Tuesday. The governor's remarks follow seemingly contradictory comments he's reported to have made last week.


Steven Senne / Associated Press

New York’s ban on flavored electronic cigarettes could soon be extended to menthol e-cigarettes. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a $1 billion high-tech development project on the State University of New York’s Polytechnic Institute campus near Utica.


WAMC News

This fall, New Yorkers will have their first-ever opportunity to vote early in November's elections. Polls will be open a full 10 days before the Nov. 5 Election Day, but the logistics will vary depending on where you live.


Karen Dewitt / WBFO Albany Correspondent

Owners of existing clean energy power plants in New York say they’d like the same support from the state for their businesses that new ones get. 

Tempers flared at a public hearing of a commission formed to enact a public campaign financing system for New York. But the tensions centered not on that proposal, but on the commission's decision to consider whether to end fusion voting, which allows candidates to run on multiple ballot lines.


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