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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governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

A provision to shift Medicaid health care costs in New York from counties to the state as part of the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act by Congress is meeting with a cool reception from state leaders.

rkeefer / Flickr

 

The next two weeks at the New York State Capitol are going to be very busy as lawmakers face the deadline for a new budget. Several issues remain unresolved.

ALBANY (WSKG) - Now that Preet Bharara is no longer the US Attorney for the southern district of New York, some in Albany wonder who will now be investigating potential corruption? 

Karen DeWitt

ALBANY (WSKG) - Tensions between opposing groups of Democrats in the New York State Senate reached a flash point this week -- over whose faction would be allowed to present their budget priorities for a floor debate. The dispute resulted in an exchange that included some racially charged name calling. 

Hans Pennink / AP Photo

 

The New York Legislature’s one-house budgets aim to make some changes to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s $163 million proposal to offer free tuition at public colleges in New York to some middle-class students. 

Mike Groll / AP Photo

The smallest faction in the divided New York State Senate, the Independent Democratic Conference, has been permitted by the ruling party Republicans to issue its own alternate spending plan. That has angered the rest of the Democrats.

Mike Groll / AP Photo

The Senate and Assembly will release their one-house budgets early this week, as the March 31 deadline for a new spending plan draws near. They’ve already given some hints as to what the plans will include.

Karen DeWitt

Members of a leading senior citizens lobbying group are advocating for a retirement plan in New York that could benefit their children and grandchildren. 

Mike Groll / AP Photo


A provision in the Affordable Care Act replacement plan by Republicans in Congress sets up a potential clash with New York state over abortion coverage.

Karen DeWitt

The New York State budget is due in three and a half weeks, but the biggest push is for a change that is not a spending item. 

Hans Pennink / AP Photo

Disability rights advocates say they are fed up with what they call a lack of response from Governor Cuomo. They want funding for services that help them stay in their communities, including money to pay home health care workers adequate wages. 

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

The New York State Assembly held a hearing Monday on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to spend $8 billion in subsidies to keep three upstate nuclear power plants operating for the next 12 years. But no one from the Cuomo administration showed up. 

cogdogblog / Flickr

New York’s health care system is bracing for big changes to the Affordable Care Act. No one knows for certain how it will be altered, but it will almost certainly cost the state a significant amount of money.

Mike Groll / AP Photo

Reform advocates are taking exception to remarks made by Governor Cuomo, who said there is already enough oversight of potentially corrupt activities in Albany. 

Jason Paris / Flickr

Just one month before the state budget is due, numerous interest groups are converging on the State Capitol, asking that they be included in the budget.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

A new poll finds that in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s numbers are rising while President Donald Trump’s are sinking. 

New York NOW / WMHT

Judith Enck, the former regional administrator of the EPA under President Barack Obama, said the new head of the EPA under President Donald Trump threatens to roll back major environmental regulations, including climate change actions and pollution protections.

In an interview for public radio and television, Enck explained why she took the unprecedented step of signing on to a letter, along with hundreds of former EPA staff, protesting Scott Pruitt.

azipaybarah / Flickr

The Trump Administration’s decision to rescind protections for transgender students will not affect New York State, according to the state’s education commissioner and legal experts. But they say the action nevertheless sends a “terrible message” to transgender teens.

Hans Pennink / AP Photo

 

The New York Legislature is off this week, but the session so far has featured an unusual amount of protests and arrests, and more actions are expected when lawmakers return.  

Hans Pennink / AP Photo

  

A leading budget watchdog group is accusing Gov. Andrew Cuomo of fudging the numbers in his state budget to appear to stay within his self-imposed 2 percent per-year spending cap.

Citizens Budget Commission began scrutinizing state and city budgets in New York during the Great Depression in the 1930s. They were listening when Cuomo repeatedly said that his latest budget plan keeps total spending below 2 percent for the seventh year in a row. Cuomo outlined the numbers during a budget briefing on Jan. 17.

Hans Pennink / WSKG News

 

Some upstate lawmakers are asking New York State to step in and fund refugee resettlement programs that they said have been caught up in President Donald Trump’s travel ban and the resulting chaos.  

Hans Pennink / WSKG News

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie is pushing for a measure to stop treating 16- and 17-year-olds as adults in the state’s criminal justice system. 

Mike Groll / AP Photo

The leader of the Senate Republicans said he’s against Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to require local governments in each county to offer government consolidation plans to go before voters in November. 

CREDO: Cuomo Policy Summit 8/22/2012 / Flickr

Environmental groups are pushing Gov. Andrew Cuomo to codify into law some of the steps he’s taken to protect the environment and cut down on pollution related to climate change. 

wadester16 / Flickr

With the confirmation of Rowan Wilson to the New York Court of Appeals, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has now picked all of the judges on the state’s highest court. He’s the first governor to do so since his father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo.

Hans Pennink / AP Photo

A faction of breakaway Democrats in the state Senate has been gaining members lately, but they are now facing a backlash, including raucous opposition at meetings in their districts. 

Mike Groll / AP Photo

 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s acting tax commissioner took heat Tuesday from Democrats and Republicans in the state Legislature over delays in the STAR rebate program. 

AP Photo/Hans Pennink

ALBANY (WSKG) - Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to pass an amendment enshrining the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 abortion decision Roe v. Wade into the state’s constitution is not gaining much traction in the state Senate. 

nysenate.gov

ALBANY (WSKG) - New York State Senate Leader John Flanagan said he’s not running for governor right now, but in an interview with New York state public radio and television, he admitted that he’s thought about it from time to time. 

Matt Ryan, WMHT

ALBANY (WSKG) - Lawmakers grilled Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s economic development chair Wednesday at a budget hearing, as some of the programs are embroiled in a corruption scandal that’s led to charges against several former associates of the governor.

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