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.

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Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a supporter of extending the tax on millionaires, says he believes his side can “ultimately” prevail.

The state’s Environmental Commissioner said last week that the process to permit hydrofracking on some private lands in New York State may take longer than expected, and DEC Commissioner Joe Martens even cast doubt on  whether permits would be issued in 2012 at all. Governor Cuomo says he’s willing to wait, if it leads to a rational decision making process on what’s become a highly emotional issue.

Governor Andrew Cuomo is stating in no uncertain terms that he intends to veto the redistricting lines now being devised by a joint legislative commission, because they are not independent and non partisan.

The state’s environmental agency says  a key advisory panel will not be issuing a report on the impacts of hydrofracking by a November 1 deadline, delaying part of the process of allowing the natural gas drilling on some private lands in New York until early next year.

The State’s Environmental Commissioner Joe Martens, says the report from the advisory committee, will be not be issued next month as originally planned, partly  because data on costs of fracking  to other state agencies, including  the departments of health and transportation, aren’t ready yet.

Carl McCall, the newly appointed Chair of the State University of New York Board of Trustees, is no stranger to New York politics and policy making. He sat down Monday to talk about his goals for SUNY and what he discerns in the Occupy Wall Street and now Occupy Albany movement.

Occupy Albany protesters camped out across the street from the State Capitol for the fourth day say they have no intention of leaving anytime soon.

Leaders of the state worker union, the Public Employees Federation, are waging a campaign style effort to try to convince members to vote yes this time on a new contract. Governor Cuomo says he will not give the union a third chance, and will issue lay offs in less than two weeks if the second contract is rejected.

Members of the state worker union the Public Employees Federation will be voting on a new contract proposal, now that the union’s executive board has signed off on a rejiggered proposal agreed to with Governor Cuomo to avoid 3500 lay offs. 

Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state worker union, the Public Employees Federation, are going down to the wire over a deal to forge a new contract agreement  or face 3500 lay offs. 

The State Comptroller finds that Wall Street is having another bad year, and that could have a negative impact on New York State's budget.

Governor Cuomo says he understands the “frustration” of the demonstrators taking part in the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York and the nation this week, but admits the state depends on revenues from the financial industry to balance its budget.

Cuomo says protests are an “important part of democracy”, and says he understands the frustration and anger of the demonstrators in downtown Manhattan over the stagnant economy.

“When people are feeling pain, they look for an outlet,” said Cuomo.

The groups delivered 180 water powered alarm clocks to Governor Cuomo’s office door, as part of their request for more time for the public to comment on proposed rules to allow hydrofracking in New York on some private lands.

 Katherine Nadaeu, with Environmental Advocates, says more time is needed to determine potential health effects of the gas drilling process, which uses chemically laced water to bore into underground
shale deposits in order to extract the gas.

Governor Andrew Cuomo opened the door to avoiding  the layoffs of 3500 state workers after a union contract was rejected, but he says it’s entirely up to the union leadership whether the job cut backs occur or not.

The Public Employees Federation is floating the idea of some so called tweaks to the tenets of the rejected labor contract, including, perhaps charging more for health care on a sliding scale
based on the amount of a worker’s pay.

In an interview with public radio, Governor Cuomo says he’s “open” to talking about the proposals .

 

Two days after one of the state’s two major worker unions rejected a contract, the Public Employees Federation President says he has “new ideas” for a contract settlement, and is anxious to meet with
Governor Cuomo to discuss options to avert the 3500 layoffs ordered by the governor.

ALBANY (August 12, 2011) - A poll finds that for the first time, President Obama has a negative rating in New York State.

WRVO's capitol correspondent Karen DeWitt reports.
 

ALBANY, NY (August 11, 2011) - New York's top financial official says the gas industry should pay into a fund to fix any mistakes they make.

WRVO Capitol Correspondent Karen Dewitt has details.

ALBANY, NY (August 8, 2011) - Republicans hold a one vote lead in the State Senate and worry that changes to the way districts are redrawn will put them at a disadvantage to hold the majority.

WRVO's Karen Dewitt reports.

ALBANY, NY (August 5, 2011) - The bill will help Gov. Cuomo make the case for closing the Indian Point nuclear plant downstate.

WRVO Capitol Correspondent Karen Dewitt explains.

ALBANY, NY (August 4, 2011) - A revelation in the New York Times that a non-profit funded mainly by Medicaid has executives who pulled in a million dollars in pay and benefits has caused the state to investigate.

WRVO Capitol Correspondent Karen Dewitt tells us that the state plans to look at the compensation of non-profit leaders statewide.

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