Karen DeWitt

Capitol Bureau Chief, New York State Public Radio

Karen has covered state government and politics for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 New York and Connecticut stations, 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, 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.

Mike Groll / AP

Business leaders, particularly those in upstate New York, say the 2016 legislative session, which recently concluded, was the worst for small businesses in quite some time.

Business owners say that a session that saw the minimum wage increase, to eventually $15 an hour in New York City and $12.50 upstate, along with a phased-in partial paid family leave, will be costly to smaller employers who operate on the edge in a shaky economy.

Mike Groll / AP

The New York State Farm Bureau is inserting itself into a legal fight over whether farmworkers can be allowed to unionize.

The New York Civil Liberties Union is suing the state for the right of farm laborers to collectively bargain with their employers, and Governor Cuomo said earlier this year that he would not defend the state in the lawsuit.

Hans Pennink / AP

What began in January as an ambitious reform package to address a wave of corruption at the Capitol, proposed by Governor Cuomo, dwindled to just two proposals by the time the session closed in the pre-dawn hours of Saturday morning. 

Hans Pennink / AP

New York lawmakers wrapped up the 2016 legislative session at around 5 a.m. Saturday morning, agreeing to take steps to cancel the pensions of convicted lawmakers in the future, legalizing daily fantasy sports and extending New York City’s mayoral control law for another year.

Hans Pennink / AP

The New York legislature was closing down on an end-of-session deal that would strip convicted lawmakers of their pensions, extend mayoral control of New York City schools for one more year, and legalize daily fantasy sports gambling.

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