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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With 11 working days left in the legislative session, the atmosphere is intensifying at the State Capitol. Democrats who lead the Legislature are facing pressure from all sides to deliver on legislation that they campaigned on.

Legislative leaders have announced an agreement in principle on nine bills that they say will extend and strengthen New York City’s rent laws. It’s part of an effort to get a number of bills passed before adjournment later in June.


Matt Ryan/New York Now

Legislative leaders have announced an agreement in principle on nine bills that they say will extend and strengthen New York City’s rent laws. It’s part of an effort to get a number of bills passed before adjournment later in June.


Karen Dewitt / WBFO Albany Correspondent

The state Senate held a hearing on how New York can join 15 other states and implement automatic voter registration.


Karen DeWitt

A leading business group has come out in favor of granting driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants, increasing the chances of the bill’s passage in the state Legislature this year.


Karen DeWitt

The New York State Legislature held a daylong hearing Tuesday on a proposal to enact single-payer health care in New York.


Eileen Elibol / WNED | WBFO

The state’s Democratic Party leaders have voted to greatly shorten the lead time before voters can register to cast a ballot in the 2020 Presidential primaries.

New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics

A national report finds that New York State’s ethics panel is among the worst in the nation. Reform groups say that’s not news to them, and have called for an overhaul of the commission.


Sexual Harassment Working Group

The second hearing on sexual harassment in New York state government will be held Friday in New York City. Ahead of the hearing, a group of former legislative staffers who say they have been victims of harassment joined lawmakers to introduce bills to strengthen New York’s laws.


The New York State Legislature took final action on measures that could be used against President Donald Trump and his associates, including a backdoor way for Congress to view the president’s tax returns.


Karen DeWitt

There is going to be a change at the top in the state’s Republican Party. Erie County GOP Chair Nick Langworthy has gathered the support of the majority of county chairs and will be replacing Ed Cox In July. The two met with the media Tuesday to talk about the transition.


Karen DeWitt

Advocates for a bill that would allow terminally ill New Yorkers to end their own lives say the legislation has its best chance yet for passage in the Democratic-controlled state Legislature.


WBFO file photo

The New York State Senate acted Wednesday on measures that they say will improve safety on the state’s roads, including adding cameras to the stop arms of school buses.


WBFO file photo

After the failure to include legalized recreational marijuana in the New York state budget earlier this year, sponsors of the legislation say they are introducing a new bill that they hope stands a better chance at becoming law.


Karen DeWitt

Opponents of bills to decriminalize prostitution in New York say it will only strengthen the worldwide sex trafficking industry and increase incidents of abuse in New York. Anti-sex trafficking groups and their allies spoke out at the state Capitol.


Karen DeWitt

Progressive groups, including the New York Civil Liberties Union, say they’re frustrated that action on left-leaning issues has stalled in New York in the final weeks of the legislative session.

 

Karen DeWitt

New York City’s rent laws expire June 15, and tenant advocates and some state lawmakers think a renewal of the laws should include cities outside of New York, including upstate.


Karen DeWitt

Two bills approved Wednesday in the state Senate could affect President Donald Trump and his associates.


Karen DeWitt

More than 100 sex workers came to the Capitol on Tuesday to lobby for two bills that they say would help keep them safe and end some of the stigma associated with their jobs.  The workers, joined by lawmakers who back the bills, told stories of what led them to the work.


Karen DeWitt

Supporters hope that their efforts to change an 80 year old law that excludes farm workers from many of the protections afforded to other workers in New York, may finally meet with success in the all Democratic- led State legislature.


Shinichi Sugiyama / Flickr

The cap on charter schools in New York is unlikely to be raised this year because of changing political dynamics in the Democrat-led New York State Legislature and opposition from the teachers union.


A bill that would create a back door method to release President Donald Trump’s taxes is moving through the State Senate and could be voted on as early as next week.


Karen Dewitt / WBFO Albany Correspondent

Democrats in the state Assembly say they plan to move ahead with a bill to grant driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants in New York. However, the Assembly speaker said he wants to educate people about the benefits of the measure first.

Karen DeWitt

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the number of measles cases has grown to over 700 and is the worst outbreak in decades.


NewYork Now

Major glitches earlier this month in the state’s standardized testing program for children in grades three through eight has led teachers in New York, and their union, to call for a complete overhaul of the tests. Karen DeWitt sat down with New York State United Teachers Vice President Jolene DiBrango, who says teachers want a fix before the tests are given again.

Karen DeWitt

A bill to allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses in New York is gaining support in the state Legislature. But there’s also a growing backlash, and several upstate county sheriffs, county clerks and state lawmakers are explaining why they oppose the measure.


Public campaign financing could be coming to New York by the end of this year, now that Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature have created a commission to come up with a plan.


Image by Mimzy from Pixabay

When state lawmakers return later this month for a post-budget session, they hope to tackle several issues, including trying to curb the number of robocalls that New Yorkers receive.       


WBFO file photo

State education officials canceled computerized testing for New York’s third- through eighth-grade students on Wednesday after a software glitch prevented some students from being able to complete -- and in some cases, even begin -- the tests.


WBFO file photo

A commission to examine a public campaign finance system for statewide elections in New York may also look at whether to continue the state’s practice of what’s known as fusion voting.

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