Karen DeWitt

Capitol Bureau Chief, New York State Public Radio

Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio.

Karen DeWitt reports for 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, 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

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.

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.

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.” And the governor says he’s joining with the governors of the states of California and Washington to form a coalition of states that are committed to upholding the Paris Accord.

New York state already has begun a plan to get 50 percent of the state’s energy from renewable sources, like wind and solar, by 2030. But it is not without some controversy.

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. It would be an alternative to the national Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, which Republicans in Congress and President Donald Trump have been trying to dismantle.

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.

Several Republican and independent Democratic senators were paid stipends allocated to chairs of Senate committees. But the senators weren’t actually the chairs; they had all been designated as vice chairs, a relatively new title. There is no provision in state law to pay stipends to vice chairs.

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