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

Recommendations on how to go forward with some of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s economic development contracts tainted by scandal have been delayed for another few weeks, the governor’s economic development chairman said.

Buffalo businessman and Empire State Development Chairman Howard Zemsky is trying to pick up the pieces after nine criminal complaints were issued against two former Cuomo associates, including a top former aide, along with the former head of SUNY Polytechnic Institute, who oversaw the contracts for the Buffalo Billion and other projects.

Pipeline companies aren’t having a lot of success in New York so far in 2016.

Opponents say they are dirty and continue New York’s overreliance on fossil fuels, and two projects have already been canceled. A pipeline company representative, however, said the projects are not as harmful as opponents claim and are essential for the state’s current electric needs. 

Until recently, expanding and building pipelines was not terribly controversial, as most people agreed that there was a common need to transport oil and gas for fuel and electricity.

State lawmakers with disabled children, along with people with developmental disabilities and their caregivers, rallied Monday at the State Capitol for more money in the budget to pay caregivers a living wage. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature approved a gradual minimum wage increase to $15 an hour downstate and $12.50 an hour upstate, saying mega-companies like McDonald’s and Burger King can afford to pay their workers more.

SUNY Polytechnic Institute

Until recently, Dr. Alain Kaloyeros, leader of the SUNY Polytechnic Institute, has been the darling of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration.

But now, he’s one of the figures at the center of federal and state investigations into alleged pay-to-play schemes for economic development projects and is increasingly on the outs with the administration. 

 

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.

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