Karen DeWitt

Capitol Bureau Correspondent

 Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.

She is also a regular contributor to the statewide public television program about New York State government, New York Now. She appears on the reporter’s roundtable segment, and interviews newsmakers. 

Karen previously worked for WINS Radio, New York, and has written for numerous publications, including Adirondack Life and the Albany newsweekly Metroland.

She 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 for 2009 by the Women’s Press Club of New York State.

Karen is a graduate of the State University of New York at Geneseo.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo revealed more details this week about how the newly named Mario Cuomo Bridge on the Thruway over the Hudson River will be financed.

We know that the former Tappan Zee Bridge will be replaced by the new Gov. Mario Cuomo Bridge, in honor of the current governor’s late father. But we don’t know the final price tag of the project, which spans the Hudson River between Rockland and Westchester counties.

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ALBANY (WSKG) - Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in his first remarks since President Donald Trump announced in a tweet that he was banning transgender people from the military, condemned the action as “terrible" and “hateful,” and said it is contrary to American values. 

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Planned Parenthood leaders in New York are anxiously monitoring the actions in the Republican-led Congress to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, and they say in all versions, their health care centers face big reductions.

Robin Chappelle Golston with Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts, the lobby group for the state's Planned Parenthood clinics, is watching the attempts to repeal and replace the ACA, also known as Obamacare, with trepidation.

She said it’s hard to follow, and she thinks that’s deliberate.

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The Senate is moving ahead on the repeal and possibly the replacement of the Affordable Care Act, and policy makers in New York are bracing for the worst.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday announced a series of what he calls “aggressive actions” to expand voter registration, saying he wants to “help combat low voter participation” amid “troubling” attempts by the federal government that might restrict voter access. But a nearly century-old voting rights organization said the governor did not go far enough.

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The future of the Affordable Care Act is uncertain in Washington, and there are several scenarios under consideration.  

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ALBANY (WSKG) - At an event Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo defined the conflict over changing the health care laws in Washington as a class struggle, saying it’s all about the rich versus the rest. 

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s name has been mentioned as a potential presidential candidate in 2020, but first, he may be facing some obstacles to win a third term as governor in 2018.

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The second voter survey in two weeks shows Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s job approval rating plummeting to a near record low. 

Mary Altaffer / AP Photo

New York’s top elected Democrats rallied against the Republican Congress’ proposals to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, saying they will take legal action, if necessary, to stop it. 

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The corruption conviction of former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was overturned Thursday on a technicality by a federal appeals court.

Richard Drew / AP Photo

ALBANY (WSKG) A new poll finds Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s popularity has dipped to a near record low, and the reason could be dissatisfaction in New York City over the governor’s handling of the mass transit system.

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ALBANY (WSKG) - While a new poll finds New Yorkers would like Gov. Andrew Cuomo to be a “national leader” challenging the policies of President Donald Trump’s administration, Cuomo seldom actually mentions the president by name.

AP Photo/Brennan Linsley

ALBANY (WSKG) - A bill to expand New York state’s medical marijuana program to cover sufferers of post-traumatic stress disorder passed both houses of the Legislature, but will Gov. Andrew Cuomo sign it into law? 

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The state’s lieutenant governor said New Yorkers should be deeply worried if the U.S. Senate approves a plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

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It’s been just over two weeks since ride-hailing services have been permitted outside New York City, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he’s pleased so far. 

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Later this summer, the new Tappan Zee Bridge will be named in honor of former Gov. Mario Cuomo, the current governor’s father. But the renaming of the bridge came with a bit of controversy. 

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Add Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s name to the list of state politicians wary of holding a constitutional convention. Voters get to decide this November whether New York should hold the event. 

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The New York State Legislature finally ended its 2017 session, after the Assembly voted overnight on a privately negotiated omnibus bill. The Senate finally finished on Thursday afternoon. The messy process drew condemnation from both sides of the aisle. 

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ALBANY (WSKG) - The state Assembly voted in the early hours of Thursday morning on a bill that takes care of some unfinished business in the 2017 legislative session. 

Mary Esch / AP Photo

Tuesday saw dramatic testimony in the hearing on whether former gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino should be ousted from the Buffalo school board. Paladino took the stand and apologized for racist comments he made last December regarding President and Mrs. Obama.

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One week after the New York state legislature declared the 2017 session over, Governor Cuomo is commanding that lawmakers return for a special session at 1 pm Wednesday to deal with some unfinished business. 

Karen DeWitt

ALBANY (WSKG) - The New York State Education Department hearing on whether Carl Paladino should be removed from the Buffalo Board of Education for leaking private information from the board's executive sessions could conclude as early as Tuesday.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News


When the state legislative session ended on June 21, lawmakers left behind a lot of unfinished business, including ethics reform proposals made in light of the economic development scandal in the Cuomo administration.  

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ALBANY (WSKG) - Gov. Cuomo says the state legislature fell down on the job by leaving town without passing an extension of mayoral control for the New York City schools, and he has not ruled out calling them back for a special session. 

David Duprey / AP Photo

 

A hearing on whether 2010 gubernatorial candidate and Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino should be thrown off his city’s school board began Thursday at the state education department in Albany. 

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ALBANY (WSKG) - The state Assembly and Senate adjourned for the year last night, without any deals on extending control of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s authority over the public school system, or the continuation of sales taxes in upstate and Long Island counties. Assembly Democrats have tied the two issues together in one bill, and Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle called it a basic concept. 

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 ALBANY (WSKG) - This year's state legislative session has produced no agreements on ethics reform, even though Albany is in the midst of a what some call a corruption crime wave. Capitol correspondent Karen DeWitt (who is recovering from a cold) spoke to longtime League of Women Voters lobbyist Barbara Bartoletti about the lack of action. 

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The state Senate is likely to confirm Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s nomination to fill the latest vacancy on the state’s highest court.

Judge Paul Feinman would be the first openly gay judge on the Court of Appeals. During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, the Long Island native was generally praised by committee members.

Mike Groll / Flickr

There was a flurry of activity — along with threats and ultimatums — on Monday at the New York State Capitol, but there were no agreements on major issues as the session draws to a scheduled close on Wednesday.

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