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.

 | Twitter

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.

alh1 / Flickr

ALBANY (WSKG) - The New York State Legislature is approaching its final week of the 2017 session, and agreements on outstanding issues, including mayoral control over the state’s largest school system, remain elusive. 

Catherine Loper, WRVO

ALBANY (WSKG) - Gov. Andrew Cuomo has named the first openly gay judge to New York’s highest court. Cuomo has nominated Paul Feinman, an appellate court judge and LGBT rights advocate, to fill a vacancy on the New York State Court of Appeals. During an interview on the cable news station NY1, Cuomo praised Feinman’s abilities.

Mike Groll / AP Photo

  

A faction of breakaway Democrats known as the Independent Democratic Conference has been in the news lately for receiving stipend payments for chairing committees that the Senators in fact did not chair. Here’s a look at the history of this power-brokering group of senators and what may be in store for its future.

Mike Groll / AP Photo

  

Legislative leaders are dug in on remaining issues in the 2017 session and are accusing each other of unfairly linking unrelated items to renewal of mayoral control over New York City schools. Time is running out for scheduled meetings.

The renewal of mayoral control of New York City schools faces a hard deadline. It expires at the end of the month.

Hans Pennink / AP Photo

  


The New York state legislative session is drawing to a close, and Democrats and Republicans are digging in on the remaining issues of 2017. Among them is a measure to extend the New York City mayor’s control of the public schools, which has now been linked to a number of diverse issues affecting people in the rest of the state.

WBFO File Photo

ALBANY (WSKG) - The state budget’s been in place for just less than two months, and already there are signs that tax revenues may be significantly lower than expected. Anticipated federal tax reductions later this year may be one of the reasons. 

Karen DeWitt

ALBANY (WSKG) - With less than two weeks left in the legislative session, some New York lawmakers are pressing for reform of the state’s economic development contracting process in light of a scandal that’s led to federal corruption charges against several former associates of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. 

shawncalhoun / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo vowed Tuesday to help defeat the state’s Republican members of the House of Representatives when they are up for election next year.

Hans Pennink / AP Photo


The New York State Legislature is back at the Capitol for three weeks of meetings before the session ends later in June.  A number of advocacy groups say there’s an opportunity for lawmakers to act to address some of the harm that they say President Donald Trump’s policies are causing. But divisions in the Legislature may hinder any chance of achievements.

charles16e / Flickr

Supporters of a constitutional convention in New York say the amendment deserves prominent placement on the November ballot. 

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he’ll sign an executive order committing the state to meet the Paris climate accord standards, calling President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the agreement “reckless” and “irresponsible.”

SUNY

ALBANY (WSKG) - The outgoing chancellor of New York’s state university system said President Donald Trump’s budget, if enacted, would seriously hamper the chances for many of New York’s young people to attend college. 

AP Photo/Evan Vucci, Pool

ALBANY (WKSG) - President Donald Trump, who’s never been very popular in New York, has reached an all-time low in the opinions of voters, according to a new poll.

Matt Ryan / New York NOW

 

A new poll finds New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is at his highest approval rating in three years. 

Charlotte90T / Flickr

 

 


Faith leaders from around New York came to the Capitol to gain support in the state Senate to adopt a statewide single-payer health care system. 

Mike Groll / AP Photo


After an embarrassing controversy over stipend payments, the beleaguered group of breakaway Democrats in the state Senate is trying to change the subject.

Karen DeWitt

ALBANY (WSKG) - There are reports that state senators who received payments for chairing committees that they actually did not chair are now under a probe by the state attorney general and at least one U.S. attorney. 

ALBANY (WSKG) - The state is one step closer to having ride-hailing services available before the Fourth of July, now that the state Senate has passed a bill to speed up when companies like Uber and Lyft will be allowed to operate in upstate New York. 

Karen DeWitt

ALBANY (WSKG) - The leader of the state Senate Independent Democratic Conference for the first time publicly answered questions from the media about news stories that some of his members received stipends for committee chair positions that they do not actually hold.

Karen DeWitt

ALBANY (WSKG) - There are calls for a criminal investigation of some questionable stipend payments to some New York state senators. One of the senators who received those payments is giving it back, while another is calling the controversy a “witch hunt.”  

whiteafrican / Flickr

School districts across the state are holding votes on their budgets Tuesday. 

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

A new online ad featuring Gov. Andrew Cuomo and promoting tolerance has once again fueled talk that New York’s governor may be planning a presidential run. There are some questions, though, about the ad and its donors. 

The ad, which for now is only running online, features Cuomo and several well-known actors, including Steve Buscemi and Whoopi Goldberg. All claim to be something other than they actually are to promote the message of unity and tolerance in a diverse state.

“As a New Yorker, I am black,” Cuomo says in the ad.

Richard Drew / AP Photo

One of the top issues remaining before the state Legislature adjourns for the summer is fixing problems in the state’s economic development contracts. That’s after a scandal led to federal corruption charges against nine former associates of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Hans Pennink / AP Photo

Voters get a chance to decide in the fall whether the state should have a constitutional convention. Both legislative leaders, however, say they are against it.

maisa_nyc / Flickr

 

A worldwide movement to encourage public institutions like universities and municipalities to divest from the fossil fuel industry is targeting the state’s pension fund.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Some of New York’s leaders are expressing outrage over the Republican House of Representatives vote to undo the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. 

Seth Wenig / AP Photo

ALBANY (WSKG) - Governor Andrew Cuomo took a swipe at President Trump’s recent tweet saying that the federal government needs a “good” shutdown. 

Mike Groll / AP Photo

Democrats in the state Senate remain hopeful that they will regain the numerical majority and control of the chamber after a special election is held later this month.

Mike Groll / AP Photo

New York state’s education commissioner said Tuesday that new state-specific learning standards will offer several improvements over the controversial Common Core standards. 

Pages