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.



Wed December 17, 2014

Fracking banned in New York

Environmentalists are celebrating after Governor Cuomo says there will be no hydro fracking in New York for now, citing inconclusive scientific evidence on the health effects of the gas drilling process .

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Tue December 9, 2014

Senate Dems call for permanent special prosecutor in police death cases

Rally held in Buffalo featuring Ferguson community commentator
Credit Mike Desmond/WBFO News

There are growing calls in Albany for a special prosecutor to investigate police encounters with unarmed citizens that end in the death of the person.  Senate Democrats are the latest to ask for immediate action in the wake of the death of Eric Garner and other recent incidents.

The state’s Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman has already asked Governor Cuomo for an executive order to empower the AG to investigate and, if warranted, prosecute cases where unarmed civilians are killed by police officers.

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Wed December 3, 2014

Fracktivists say they won't let up until Cuomo decides

Wes Gillingham, of Catskill Mountainkeeper, speaks at Albany event asking Governor Cuomo to declare a moratorium on hydro fracking in New York.
Credit Karen DeWitt/WXXI

Opponents of hydro-fracking say they want Governor Cuomo to declare a three to five year moratorium on fracking in New York. The gas drilling process has been on hold for several years.

A coalition of groups, including the Natural Resources Defense Council, say Cuomo should immediately issue an executive order postponing any gas drilling in New York for the next three to five years. NRDC’s Kate Sinding says that’s preferable to trying to get a bill passed through a divided state legislature, where the Senate will be controlled by the Republicans in January.

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Fri November 14, 2014
NPR Story

Green Party candidate says he will not go away

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 8:50 am

Howie Hawkins, with the Green Party, performed well in the 2014 governor's race. (file photo)
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Green Party candidate for governor Howie Hawkins says he’s not going away now that elections are over. He says he intends to continue drawing attention to issues like raising the minimum wage and building his party, instead.

Hawkins says the Greens, who were the only party to gain voters in the elections, intends to build their membership in the coming months. Hawkins says 70 percent of voters did not bother coming to the polls, and he sees potential in the disaffected electorate.

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Thu November 13, 2014

Schools say New York surplus should fund additional aid

Bob Lowry, with the New York State School Council of superintendents, says schools are falling behind.

The board is made up of the state’s teachers, school boards, superintendents and the PTA, among others. They agree that school spending must increase significantly in the New Year. Chairman John Yagielski says the groups want $1.9 billion additional dollars for the 2015-16 school year.

They say even though the recession has eased and the state has a substantial surplus, schools are still getting less money than what they got before the 2008 stock market crash .

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