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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Karen DeWitt

The New York State legislature finished up work on the budget around 7:30 a.m. Monday, just making the budget deadline of April 1. The spending plan represents a compromise where not everyone is completely happy.

With a Sunday night deadline looming, the New York state budget is starting to take shape. Lawmakers are planning to return to the Capitol for a rare Sunday session to begin voting on budget bills. The state's new fiscal year begins Monday.

Karen DeWitt

The push for a public campaign finance system for New York’s politicians heated up as a feud erupted between three young female lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s top aides.

WBFO

The sponsors of a bill to ban single-use plastic bags in New York are optimistic that the measures will be part of the new state budget. But there are still details to be worked out, including whether there should be a fee on paper bags.

WBFO file photo

Unions and many Democrats in the state Legislature are pushing for an expansion of the state’s prevailing wage law. But they are finding that the change might have some unintended consequences.


Karen Dewitt / WBFO Albany Correspondent

With less than a week to go to the state budget deadline, interest groups have converged on Albany, lobbying to get their measures included in the budget plan - and in some cases, to keep items out.

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.

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