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/Mark Lennihan)

New York State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R) surrendered to federal authorities Monday morning, and was charged with six counts of corruption, including bribery and extortion, in connection with an alleged scheme that used his political position to enrich himself and his son.

(AP Photo/Mike Groll)

Less than a month after it was enacted, Governor Cuomo’s new teacher evaluation plan seems to be in jeopardy, with the Regents Chancellor calling for a year’s delay and a key senator saying the legislature needs to revisit the issue.

When Cuomo convinced the legislature to approve a new teacher evaluation system that relies more on standardized tests,  his administration said that the State Board of Regents would have very limited power to make any changes, including compliance with a November deadline to come up with new performance reviews.

(AP Photo/Mike Groll)

The New York State Legislature returns for the second half of the legislative session, once again under a cloud of corruption, and with numerous unsettled issues.

The session begins Tuesday, after the spring break, and this time it’s the leader of the Senate who is the focus of a federal corruption probe. State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos confirmed that he’s the target of an investigation, after the New York Times reported that U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has convened a grand jury that is looking into some of the Senator’s business dealings, as well as those of his son.

The New York legislature completed an almost on time budget, around 3 AM on the first day of the state’s fiscal year. One of the final pieces to come together was an ethics reform package, which will provide greater disclosure of lawmaker’s outside income. But critics say it does not go far enough. 

(AP Photo/Mike Groll)

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo began the budget season with an ambitious agenda, which included a wide array of items that he tied to his budget plan.   Those items included raising the minimum wage, reforming the state’s grand jury process and passage of the Dream Act, which would offer college financial aid to children of undocumented immigrants.  In the end, Cuomo was forced to let go of  nearly every measure.  

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