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.

New York state lawmakers held a special December session Monday to enact new protections for tenants unable to meet rent payments, due to pandemic-related job losses and other financial challenges. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has a pre-holiday message for New Yorkers during the COVID-19 pandemic: It’s OK to celebrate, but to do it smartly to help prevent the spread of infections.

Cuomo also announced that some fans might be allowed into Buffalo’s Bills Stadium for an upcoming playoff game.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says some New York hospitals have started testing COVID-19 patients for the presence of a mutated form of the coronavirus discovered in the United Kingdom that has led to a shutdown in that country.

All three airlines that fly from the U.K. to New York have now agreed to test passengers for the virus before they board the planes.

The relief package that Congress approved Monday did not include a financial bailout for states hit hard by the pandemic, leaving New York with a multibillion-dollar budget deficit going into the new year.

The leader of the state Assembly said now is the time to push ahead with new taxes on the wealthiest to start making up for the loss. 

The state’s deficit is at least $8 billion, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget office, though the governor said it could be closer to $15 billion.

British Airways, Delta Airlines and Virgin Atlantic have agreed to test passengers on flights from the United Kingdom to New York City for COVID-19 after a mutated and more contagious strain of the virus led to a Christmas lockdown there.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said ultimately, he’d like the U.S. to join 40 other countries that have imposed a complete travel ban on arrivals from the U.K. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is floating the possibility that New York may have to raise taxes to close a pandemic-related budget gap, and his remarks are encouraging those who have long been advocates of imposing higher taxes on the wealthy.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned Monday that the state is headed for another lockdown if the rising coronavirus infection rate doesn’t slow.

Cuomo spoke as Sunday’s numbers, the latest available, showed that the positivity rate is 5.66%. He said 5,712 New Yorkers were in the hospital with the disease, up more than 300 people from Saturday. Eighty-three people died of COVID-19 on Sunday.

Former President Bill Clinton and former first lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were among the members of New York’s Electoral College who met in person at the State Capitol on Monday to cast the unanimous vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris for president and vice president.

The first person in the U.S. to get the coronavirus vaccine is an intensive care unit nurse in New York. 

The event was publicized on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s livestream as witnesses cheered.

The nurse, Sandra Lindsay, works in the critical care unit at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens, and has for months been on the front lines of the pandemic. She got the shot on the governor’s web feed, which was carried by the news channels live. Lindsay said she wants to instill public confidence that the vaccine is safe.

WATCH: The webcast of the NY Electors starting at about Noon at this link:


The Electoral College meets in all 50 states Monday, and in New York, officials reluctantly decided to hold the event in person, despite the rising rate of the coronavirus.