WEOS Finger Lakes Public Radio

Karen DeWitt

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.

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.

A poll out Tuesday finds that the majority of New Yorkers approve of the impeachment inquiry conducted by House Democrats against President Donald Trump.

That’s not unusual in a blue state like New York, but the Siena College poll finds some broader shifts in voter sentiment regarding impeachment that could be worrisome to the president.

New York state’s public campaign finance commission met for several hours on Columbus Day to discuss the nuts-and-bolts details of how to implement a matching public donor system for statewide races.

The commission spent over four hours discussing how to implement a matching small-donor public campaign finance system for statewide races. They reached consensus on a few issues that give an indication of how the final proposal, due in December, might look. 

New York has now reported the first death related to an epidemic of vaping-related illnesses, with the state health department saying the male victim is a 17-year-old from the Bronx.  

According to state officials, the teen was previously hospitalized in early September with a vaping-associated respiratory illness. He was readmitted to the hospital in late September and died on Oct. 4.  

Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned young people, who under law are not allowed to buy vaping products, to stay away from vaping.  

  

A state commission to oversee the 2020 census count for New York state adopted its action plan Tuesday. But immigrant rights groups worry that it’s too little, too late.

New York's Medicaid budget is growing at a faster rate than the state can currently afford. That comes as a published report alleges a potential pay-to-play arrangement between a large hospital association and Gov. Andrew Cuomo's 2018 re-election campaign.

As political tensions heighten over the inquiry into impeaching President Donald Trump, a new poll finds that New Yorkers believe people in the state are more partisan than ever.

A survey by Siena College finds that 65% of New Yorkers said there’s a wider political divide than they’ve seen in their lifetimes, and it’s affecting the way they relate to others.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo traveled to Hartford, Connecticut, on Wednesday to meet with that state’s governor and to announce a joint effort to limit vaping and work toward legalizing the adult recreational use of marijuana. 

Cuomo and Gov. Ned Lamont met in the midst of a health crisis related to vaping that has sickened hundreds across the country -- nearly 100 in New York and over a dozen in Connecticut -- a phenomenon that Cuomo calls “frightening.”

After economic development corruption scandals, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli have finalized a plan to restore the comptroller's auditing powers over economic development contracts.

In 2011, Cuomo persuaded the state Legislature to agree to limit the comptroller's oversight ability for some economic development projects. They included the $750 million subsidy for the Solar City project, as part of an initiative Cuomo called the Buffalo Billion.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed legislation Thursday to impose a penalty of life in prison without parole for acts of domestic terrorism, including mass shootings.

Cuomo said his bill is the first in the nation to define a mass shooting as a hate crime if the shooter acted against a group of people based on their race, national origin, religion, gender identity or expression, or sexual orientation.

The governor, in a speech before the New York City Bar Association, said punishment could include a life sentence in prison without the possibility of parole. 

The state ethics commission has settled with a former Assembly member and a former Senate staffer in two cases involving sexual harassment

The case against former Assembly member Angela Wozniak from the Buffalo area dates from 2016, when she was accused of harassing a male staffer, after Wozniak, who was married, had a brief consensual romantic relationship with her employee.

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