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 Gov. Andrew Cuomo

The new state budget, due April 1, will be first one decided by an all-Democratic state legislature in a decade, after Republicans ruled the Senate for most of the past century. And while the leadership of the Senate and Assembly have been newly reasserting their governing powers, when it comes to the spending plan, there’s only so far that they can go in their disagreements with Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Sands

Gambling casino companies are pressing Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature to allow them to open gaming centers in New York City as part of the new state budget. There are a number of obstacles to overcome, but the proposal may seem tempting to lawmakers, who are strapped for cash this year.

Zach Hirsch

The chance to include the legalization of adult recreational marijuana in the state budget is fading, now that Gov. Andrew Cuomo seems to be backing away from the proposal.


New York NOW

With only a couple of weeks to go before the state budget is due and Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature have a lot of decisions to make, including how much more to spend on schools and whether to impose new taxes on the wealthy. In an interview with public radio and TV, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie talked to Karen DeWitt about some related items that may or may not be part of the budget, including the public financing of political campaigns and the legalization of recreational marijuana. The deadline is April 1.

Karen DeWitt

With just a little over two weeks to go before the state budget is due, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s top budget officials say they have to revise their spending proposal, now that President Donald Trump has released a budget plan that they say could devastate New York’s health care system.

Budget talks are intensifying in Albany as the deadline nears, and they are revealing tensions and divides between Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the all-Democratic State Legislature.

With three weeks to go until the April 1 budget deadline, and Governor Andrew Cuomo is drawing some lines in the sand on items he says need to be in the spending plan, like a permanent property tax cap. But Cuomo says a proposal to legalize the adult use of marijuana likely will not be finished in time.

With three weeks to go until the April 1 budget deadline, and Governor Andrew Cuomo is drawing some lines in the sand on items he says need to be in the spending plan, like a permanent property tax cap. But Cuomo says a proposal to legalize the adult use of marijuana likely will not be finished in time.

The state Senate and Assembly are due to release their own versions of the state budget this week. They come as Gov. Andrew Cuomo is demanding that a number of unrelated provisions be included in the spending plan. Without them, he threatens, the budget could be late.

Karen DeWitt

Students in the public university systems rallied this week at the State Capitol to end what they say is a built-in flaw in the state’s student aid policies. They say it’s costing the State and City University systems nearly $150 million a year. But their requests for more money come at a time when the state’s finances are tightening.

The state comptroller has come out with revenue projections that will limit the ability to spend more money in the state budget. Under law, the governor and Legislature have to abide by those numbers — but that hasn’t stopped interest groups and some lawmakers from saying that they will increase spending.

Karen DeWitt

There were some emotional moments as lawmakers and supporters of a school funding measure rallied at the Capitol to advocate for $4 billion they say has long been owed to them under an order by the state’s highest court.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his Democratic colleagues in the legislature are at odds over agreement on the amount of revenues New York has to spend on health care, education and other items in the state budget, which is due in less than a month.

Karen DeWitt

Economists and financial forecasters, speaking at the state Capitol as part of an annual consensus forecast meeting on the state budget, are warning of an impending recession in New York and the nation. The state is already experiencing some warning signs, with the governor’s budget office predicting a $2.6 billion dollar deficit.

Karen DeWitt

It’s a busy time at the state Capitol, with just over one month to go until the state budget is due. Groups are bringing advocates by the hundreds to try to get their favored items placed into the spending plan. Meanwhile, there are lingering recriminations over the failed Amazon deal.

Teachers and school administrators in New York State can now alert a judge about students who they worry could be a threat to themselves or others. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the new anti-gun-violence measure into law Monday at a ceremony attended by survivors of gun violence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

WBFO file photo

A recent legislative hearing on sexual harassment in state government focused in part on the role of the state’s ethics commission in investigating charges of alleged abuse. And according to those who testified, the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, or JCOPE, was insensitive, secretive and not sufficiently independent from politics.

amazon.com

A week after the Amazon deal in Queens died, New York lawmakers want states to agree to stop using taxpayer money to lure big businesses.The legislators are proposing a measure that would form an interstate compact to end what they call excessive “corporate welfare” for large companies.

Karen DeWitt

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says changes to the federal tax code led to a growing state deficit and is causing some high-income earners to leave the state. But progressive groups, some Democratic state legislators and even some millionaires are pushing back against that assertion, saying there’s no hard evidence that any wealthy New Yorkers are leaving.

Office of the Governor

Amazon announced Thursday it is pulling its plan to build a second headquarters in New York City, citing opposition by some state and local politicians.

Office of the Governor

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed the Child Victims Act, which gives survivors of childhood sexual abuse more access to pursue their abusers in court.

WBFO file photo

The New York State Senate began a series of hearings on climate change Tuesday. Democrats who lead the chamber back a measure to eliminate all greenhouse gas emissions in New York by 2050, but that may come into conflict with a program being pushed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Matt Ryan, New York Now

Sponsors of a measure to create a single payer health care system in New York offered a revised bill, but its future is uncertain. Governor Andrew Cuomo says the state might not be able to afford it.

WBFO file photo

The New York State Senate will be holding hearings on ways to fix the state’s anti-sexual harassment laws.

Karen Dewitt / WBFO Albany Correspondent

It seems inevitable that New York state will legalize recreational marijuana sometime this year, now that the governor and leaders of the Legislature all agree that it should happen.

WBFO file photo

State Education Commissioner Mary Ellen Elia said she’s not pleased with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to spend just half of the amount of new money on public schools that education experts in New York recommend. She spoke Wednesday at a joint legislative budget hearing at the state Capitol.

WBFO file photo

New York lawmakers say it’s likely they will vote soon to end cash bail and make other changes to help defendants who they say are unfairly treated in in the state’s criminal justice system.

Karen DeWitt

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli delivered some bad news Monday — the state has a $2.3 billion budget deficit.

WBFO file photo

More than 200 groups are pushing for New York state to enact a public campaign finance system for statewide candidates. And they say they’ve never been closer to achieving their goal.

Karen DeWitt

The New York State legislature built on the state’s 2013 gun control laws Tuesday, and are passing  measures to extend the waiting period for background checks for some purchasers,  and forbidding teachers from bringing guns to school.

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