Karen DeWitt

Capitol Bureau Chief at New York State Public Radio

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.

A regular contributor to 'New York NOW,' she frequently appears on the Reporters' Roundtable segment and often 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.

Karen at a Mike Bloomberg press conference in Albany.
Karen at a Mike Bloomberg press conference in Albany.

Karen interviewing SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher
Karen interviewing SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher

Ways To Connect

State lawmakers planned to hold some meetings throughout the weekend as they put the finishing touches on the state budget.

Senate Republicans are trying to modify Governor Cuomo’s proposal to require full disclosure of law clients in legislators’ outside business.

Senate GOP Leader Dean Skelos, who works part time at a private law firm, says he expects to agree on a “robust” new disclosure law, but concedes that it may only apply to new law clients, not existing business arrangements.

Photo: Matt Ryan / WMHT

The state Assembly, Senate and Governor Cuomo continue to work on sticking points in the state budget, as yet another item has now been dropped from the spending plan, raising the state’s minimum wage.

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos emerged hopeful from a closed door meeting with Republican Senators. The Senate and Governor Cuomo have been at odds over ethics reform, including requiring financial disclosure of Senators’ law clients in their outside jobs as private attorneys.

The leader of the State Senate says raising the minimum wage is now out of the state budget, setting up a potential  conflict with the state assembly as the budget deadline draws near.

Add the minimum wage to a growing list of items that have been dropped from the state budget.

Senate Republican Majority Leader Dean Skelos, who’s been against Governor Cuomo’s proposal to further increase the minimum wage to $11.50 downstate and $10.50 upstate, says, the proposal won’t be part of the final state spending plan. 

Photo: Matt Ryan / WMHT

Governor Cuomo and the legislature are considering a  commission to design a new teacher evaluation plan, in order to break an impasse over the state budget. But even some lawmakers admit that the compromise is just kicking the can down the road.

Cuomo has demanded that education policy changes be passed along with the state budget, or he’ll hold up school aid increases.

Governor Cuomo and the legislature are making progress on the budget. Cuomo, after a private meeting with Senate Republicans, says he’s closer to an agreement on ethics reform, but the governor is getting some criticism for dropping some items out of the budget, including the Dream Act.

The governor made a rare visit to the Senate Republican conference meeting room where he says he talked about how to come to agreement on ethics reform. Cuomo signaled that he’s willing to make some concessions on his demands that legislators who practice private law identify their clients.

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