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.

Ways To Connect

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Court of Appeals nominee was approved in the New York State Senate on a voice vote, after an unusually contentious process.

As they await Gov. Andrew Cuomo's decision on whether fracking will go forward in New York, dueling pro- and anti-fracking filmmakers held screenings and promotions for their films in Albany. At one point in their visit, the two sides confronted each other in the halls of the Capitol.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s championing of strict new gun control laws in New York state has taken a toll on his popularity. A new poll finds that for the first time since taking office, Cuomo’s approval rating has dropped significantly.

State Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos says he’s strongly opposed to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Reproductive Health Act, saying it would lead to too many late-term abortions. Pro-choice lawmakers and advocates say they disagree with the senator’s interpretation.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s pension stabilization plan could face some obstacles in the legislature.  Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says he wants to know what the state comptroller thinks of the idea first.

Mayors from around the state came to complain about Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget, as the first day of legislative hearings on the spending plan kicked off in Albany. Upstate mayors, in particular, have concerns about ever growing pension payments.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is trying to have a no-drama budget this year, with a low-key presentation and a fiscally austere spending plan -- and no major cuts or new taxes. But, growing opposition from the teachers’ union and local governments may yet result in some sparks flying before the deal is settled in late March.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed raising the minimum wage as part of his budget plan, even though the increase would not cost New York State any money.  That tactic might make it easier for the proposal to become law.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled a $142 billion state budget, that includes federal aid for post Superstorm Sandy recovery, and closes a $1.3 billion dollar budget gap.

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s annual budget presentation is slated for Tuesday afternoon. It comes as the state’s comptroller, Tom DiNapoli, finds revenues are not coming to New York in quite the amount anticipated.   

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal for a Women’s Equality Act has been praised by many legislators and women’s groups. But not everybody is applauding.

A new poll finds voters overwhelming support for many of the items that Gov. Andrew Cuomo is pushing, including parts of the newly enacted gun control law. 

Mental health advocates have some concerns over portions of the gun control laws approved by Governor Andrew Cuomo and the legislature this week.

The experimental governing coalition in the New York State Senate passed its first test, on the first full day of session, when senators approved a sweeping gun control package urged by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Karen DeWitt/WRVO

Gov. Andrew Cuomo swiftly signed New York’s new sweeping anti-gun measures into law, just minutes after the Assembly finished an over four-hour long debate and voted for the bills.  

The New York state legislature is passing the toughest in the nation gun control laws laid out by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The Senate voted late Monday evening , and the Assembly is expected to act Tuesday morning.

New details are emerging on gun control legislation that lawmakers say could be passed as early as today.

Karen DeWitt/WRVO

Anti-fracking activists, including Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon, attempted to present the state’s environmental agency with over 200,000 comments, on the last day of a public comment period on the gas drilling process.  They and other anti-fracking activists also tried to deliver a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Governor Andrew Cuomo, in his State of the State message, was widely perceived to have taken a leftward turn, with a priority list that includes gun control, abortion rights, and raising the minimum wage. The governor, though, says he hasn’t changed his ideology a bit.

Governor Cuomo Andrew dampened expectations for a quick settlement on a package of gun control bills, saying he does not have a timeline for agreement with the legislature.

Legislative leaders praised Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State speech, and say they are close to an agreement on one of the governor’s top priorities -- gun control legislation.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in his third State of the State message Wednesday asked lawmakers to help him “stop the madness,” and pass tough new anti gun legislation. Cuomo also focused on changes to better prepare for future "superstorms" and to approve a new women’s equality act.

Talks on gun control proposals between Governor Andrew Cuomo and the legislature continued Tuesday night, on the eve of the governor’s annual State of the State speech.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

When Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivers his State of the State message at 1:30 pm Wednesday, he says he plans to pursue a “robust” agenda.

When Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivers his State of the State message on Wednesday, it will include proposals for greater oversight of New York state’s electric utilities.

Governor Andrew Cuomo and Republicans in the Senate remain at an impasse over gun control legislation -- just days before the governor's State of the State address. Meanwhile, the state comptroller says he’s thinking of divesting the state’s pension fund from investments in gun manufacturers.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he intends to propose in his State of the State message several recommendations from a disaster preparedness commission, to help the state better cope with major storms in the future.

Matt Richmond / WSKG

A document from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration assessing the health impacts of hydrofracking, written less than a year ago, says the gas drilling process is likely safe if proper precautions are taken by the governor’s environmental agency, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). 

Karen DeWitt/WRVO

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s education commission recommends extending the school day and school year, as well as all day pre-kindergarten. But the governor says those ideas could be expensive.

Food pantries and soup kitchens say they are reluctantly becoming a permanent part of the nation’s safety net for the poor. In a new report on New York’s charitable food distribution system, the groups say it is government that needs to step in and lend a helping hand.

Pages