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

In the past week, two major natural gas pipelines have been scrapped in New York. A third — which would expand a line that is near the Indian Point Nuclear Power plant — is still scheduled, but opponents are putting pressure on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to use his persuasive powers with the federal government to stop the expansion.

Opponents of new pipelines carrying natural gas extracted from hydrofracking have been having a good week.

Karen DeWitt

Lobbying for and against the minimum wage is intensifying at the State Capitol, with just over two weeks to go until the budget deadline.

Union workers gathered at a rally outside the State Capitol, where the main speaker was Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“We’re going to get a $15 minimum wage passed!” Cuomo shouted.

Karen DeWitt

Groups that serve the disabled say there’s inadequate funding in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget to place thousands of adults with developmental disabilities into group homes. They also say a proposed $15 minimum wage will have a “devastating financial impact” for the nonprofit groups.

The advocates say that as recently as seven years ago, just as the state’s fiscal crisis was hitting, most parents were assured by the state that there would be a place for their children, and spots in assisted living homes were found.

Karen DeWitt

High schoolers in Hoosick Falls say they are tired of the slow response by the adults in the community and government to a toxic substance that has infiltrated the village water system and made it unsafe to drink.

They held a news conference Friday calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo personally to act.

“The adults have done a lot of talking,” said Anna Wysocki, senior class historian. “Now it’s our turn.”

Cheap gas prices are making consumers happy at the pump, but not everyone is benefiting from the lower prices.

New York’s counties, which impose a sales tax on gasoline, have lost over $200 million in revenues.

The state also charges a gasoline tax, but it’s a uniform rate of 8 cents per gallon. Counties charge a 4 percent sales tax on the price of gas. Stephen Aquario of the New York State Association of Counties says they see less revenue when the price plunges from $4 a gallon to $2 a gallon, which is the average rate right now.