Karen DeWitt

Capitol Bureau Correspondent, Albany

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.

Pages

8:00am

Sun August 19, 2012
Politics and Government

Governor Cuomo takes a back seat at National Convention

Governor Andrew Cuomo is one of many New York politicians who have chosen to scale back their participation in the national Democratic convention in North Carolina. While the others are Democrats seeking re-election in Congress, Cuomo is eschewing what could have been a prime time speaking slot.  

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9:30am

Thu August 16, 2012
Regional Coverage

Yogurt summit results in regulation change

Karen Dewitt WRVO

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced he is loosening some environmental regulations so that dairy farmers can more easily own more cows. The news came at the first ever yogurt summit convened by Cuomo at the state Capitol.

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9:34am

Wed August 15, 2012
Politics and Government

Paul Ryan's impact on NY House races debated

Gage Skidmore Flickr

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan as his running mate will impact New York’s competitive House races. But whether the effect will be good or bad depends on who you talk to.

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9:28am

Tue August 14, 2012
Politics and Government

State GOP chairman: Paul Ryan will "play well" in NY races

The head of the New York state Republican Party predicts that the choice of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential candidate will be helpful in some portions of New York state.

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10:00am

Mon August 13, 2012
Politics and Government

Governor Andrew Cuomo has chance to remake state's highest court

wadester16 Flickr

In the next couple of years, Governor Andrew Cuomo may have the chance to shape the state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, as several judges reach the end of their terms or the mandatory retirement age. It’s an opportunity no New York governor has had in a generation.

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8:01am

Sat August 11, 2012
Politics and Government

Public nursing homes face potential crisis

County-run nursing homes across New York state face growing crises as county governments, strapped for cash, consider ending their historical role as providers of inpatient care to the elderly.

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10:12am

Fri August 10, 2012
Health

New York state gets failing grades for anti-smoking programs

Dale M Moore Flickr

The American Cancer Society has given New York state a mixed report card when it comes to cancer prevention. The group says the most glaring error is the lack of investment in anti-smoking campaigns.

The American Cancer Society has issued its annual report card, rating states on how well they are doing to prevent cancer through encouraging cancer screenings, banning smoking from public places, and smoking prevention programs.

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9:18am

Thu August 9, 2012
Regional Coverage

Cuomo says he'll focus on gun control

Governor Andrew Cuomo says curbing gun violence will be a priority in the next legislative session.

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10:07am

Tue August 7, 2012
Politics and Government

State says Medicaid waiver will "transform" New York's health care

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s aides announced Monday they are asking the federal government for a Medicaid waiver that they say will help make the state a “national model” for health care.

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9:43am

Tue August 7, 2012
Politics and Government

State Senator to introduce new gun laws

francesandrew Flickr

In the wake of increased gun violence in New York and two mass shootings in the nation in the last few weeks, a State Senator is proposing stricter gun laws that he says could give New York the toughest gun laws in the country.

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4:10pm

Mon August 6, 2012
Politics and Government

Cuomo defends transparency record

Governor Andrew Cuomo defended his administration against criticisms that he has not been transparent enough, saying he’s trying to do more.

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4:16pm

Fri August 3, 2012
Regional Coverage

New York state cracks down on sex offenders

Aides to Governor Andrew Cuomo have announced new crackdowns on sex offenders that will require some convicts on parole to renew their photos every 90 days if their appearance has changed.

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9:17am

Fri August 3, 2012
Politics and Government

Cuomo defends ethics panel decision on retroactivity

Governor Andrew Cuomo continues to defend a decision by a state ethics board to keep secret the names of donors to a lobbying group that is a key ally of the governor. 

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9:37am

Thu August 2, 2012
Politics and Government

Comptroller: Local governments face grim fiscal reality

A report from the state comptroller finds local governments in New York are struggling financially. Around 10 percent are running deficits or suffering from cash flow problems, and there is no end in sight.

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9:51am

Wed August 1, 2012
Politics and Government

New disclosure rules won't include past donors

A New York state ethics board has ruled that lobby groups, including one closely allied with Governor Andrew Cuomo, will not have to retroactively disclose their donors. The proposed new regulations will require that in the future, contributions of over $5000 for the Committee to Save New York and other groups will have to be made public.
 

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11:49am

Tue July 31, 2012
Politics and Government

Promise of transparency plagues Governor Cuomo

Governor Andrew Cuomo began his term in office promising that he would run one of the most transparent and open governments in New York state history. But, eighteen months into his term, news stories relating to Cuomo's perceived lack of transparency in government have proliferated.

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6:08pm

Fri July 20, 2012
Politics and Government

NY Senate Democrats hopeful for November

A recent poll offers some hope to Senate Democrats who are trying retake the Senate after losing to Republicans two years ago, but the GOP says they are far from worried.
 

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8:35am

Wed July 18, 2012
Regional Coverage

Business group asks for audit of Thruway Authority

A business group is asking the New York State Thruway Authority to delay a proposed 45 percent increase in truck tolls and conduct an audit of the authority’s finances instead.

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4:05pm

Tue July 17, 2012
Regional Coverage

Poll: New Yorkers support health care law but feel costs will rise

Most New Yorkers agree with the recent Supreme Court decision upholding President Obama’s health care reform, but most think the new law, when fully implemented, will cause health care costs to rise.

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9:20am

Tue July 17, 2012
Regional Coverage

Is NY open for business?

Governor Andrew Cuomo is running television ads proclaiming New York’s business friendliness, but a recent set of rankings finds the state dead last in that category. The truth likely lies somewhere in between.

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9:33am

Mon July 16, 2012

8:53am

Fri July 13, 2012
Politics and Government

Cuomo's endorsements of state senators remain up in the air

Governor Andrew Cuomo says he will not necessarily endorse Democrats for election to the closely divided New York state Senate, even though he’s a Democrat. He says he’ll consider candidates on a case by case basis. That stance gives the politically savvy governor a number of options.

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9:51am

Thu July 12, 2012
Politics and Government

Business coalition opposes proposed Thruway toll hike

Jacob Enos Flickr

A coalition of business groups is opposing a proposed 50 percent toll hike for trucks on the New York State Thruway, saying it will have a drastic impact on manufacturing, farming, and many other industries.    

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8:56am

Thu July 12, 2012
Politics and Government

Cuomo on campaign finance reform

Governor Andrew Cuomo says he is starting a new effort to push campaign finance reform in New York’s elections.

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9:29am

Wed July 11, 2012
Politics and Government

Governor Cuomo offers some support for limited fracking

Governor Andrew Cuomo offered some support to a plan to permit hydrofracking in New York in communities that welcome the gas drilling process.

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9:22am

Wed July 11, 2012
Education

Cuomo's education panel hears complaints

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Commission on Education Reform got an earful at a public hearing held at the state Capitol today, as speaker after speaker complained about a statewide school system that they say is in disarray.

Speakers voiced a litany of complaints to the commission, ranging from over-testing of students, excessive teacher bashing, and school districts drowning in debt.

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7:56am

Tue July 10, 2012
Politics and Government

Cuomo signs anti-cyber bullying law

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an anti-cyber bullying bill into law Monday. It requires schools to be more vigilant about cyber bullying of students, and to take steps to prevent it.

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9:05am

Tue July 3, 2012
Politics and Government

State legislature approves historically low number of bills

According to an analysis by the New York Public Interest Research Group, the 2012 session resulted in 571 pieces of legislation approved by both houses of the New York state legislature.  

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9:42am

Mon July 2, 2012
Education

Many school districts to miss teacher evaluation deadline

An important deadline in the state’s ongoing teacher evaluation process occurred Sunday, but most schools reported they would miss it.  

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10:19am

Fri June 29, 2012
Politics and Government

The Affordable Care Act: Reaction from New York politicians and healthcare professionals

Health care advocates celebrate with cake at a rally at the state Capitol.
Karen Dewitt NYS Public Radio

New York’s politicians and major health care providers are largely applauding the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold President Barack Obama’s health care law.  Meanwhile, an Albany Law School expert says Chief Justice John Roberts may have been concerned about his legacy, and that was a factor in his decision.

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