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.

(AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)

New York State Government is famous for its “three men in a room” way of doing business.  The three men are the Governor, the Assembly Speaker, and the Leader of the State Senate. 

This week there’s a new incarnation of the three men in a room.   

That’s because Republican Dean Skelos of Long Island resigned as leader of the state senate on Monday after being brought up on federal corruption charges.   He was replaced by a fellow Long Islander, Republican John Flanagan. 

(AP Photo/Mike Groll)

New York's new Senate Leader, John Flanagan, said he does not think that further ethics reform will be enacted in the remaining weeks of the legislative session, despite an ongoing corruption scandal that cost his predecessor his job. 

“I would be surprised if there were further changes before the end of the session,” Flanagan said. “But that doesn’t mean that the subject won’t come up.”  

(AP Photo/Mike Groll)

New York Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos has resigned his post, and Republicans have elected Senator John Flanagan, currently chair of the Education Committee, to be his successor.

Flanagan, from Long Island, a GOP stronghold in the Senate, became the new leader of the Senate with a unanimous floor vote.

Flanagan emerged from a three hour closed door meeting to announce his victory.

“We come out of this unified,” said Flanagan. “And ready to do the people’s business.”

AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

    

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, at a union rally in New York City's Union Square to raise the minimum wage, called out fast food chains McDonalds and Burger King by name. He accused them of “corporate greed” for underpaying workers.

Cuomo, in an animated speech, said fast food chains make huge profits while relying on taxpayer subsidies, like food stamps, to make up for the low pay they give their workers.

(AP Photo/Mike Groll)

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, who turned himself in to federal authorities on corruption charges Monday, will remain in his position, Republicans announced after a more than three hour closed door meeting Monday night.

Skelos, who is charged with using his political position to enrich himself and his son in a bribery and extortion scheme, did not speak to the media. Republican conference chair Ken LaValle, who, like Skelos, is also from Long Island, spoke for the group.

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