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 Yorkers who use e-cigarettes will have to comply with the same limits on smoking cigarettes in public, now that Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed a bill into law.

But anti-smoking advocates say more needs to be done to combat the rising use of the nicotine product.

The Chancellor of the State University of New York is defending a SUNY board committee’s decision to lower some requirements for teachers at some charter schools.

The state’s governor and senior senator teamed up Monday to urge New York’s congressional delegation to oppose a provision in the federal tax overhaul plan that they say could be harmful to the state’s taxpayers and economy.

Speaking outside a suburban home in Albany County, Sen. Chuck Schumer and Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the federal plan to get rid of the state and local tax deductions “double taxation.” Schumer said middle-class New Yorkers will pay more money in taxes each year if the proposal is approved.

We walk up the trail to the summit of Hadley Mountain in the southern Adirondacks, fallen leaves crunching underfoot.

The wind picks up a bit as we climb up the fire tower for the panoramic view.

“We’re looking at the most marvelous combination of balsam fir and northern hardwood trees on a ridge line that stretches north,” said David Gibson with Adirondack Wild. “From here we can see the high peaks of the Adirondack Park.”

The fallout continues from President Donald Trump’s decision to end subsidies to health insurance companies to help lower-income Americans pay for their health insurance. But it’s still unclear what the exact impact will be in New York.

As soon as the president followed through with his threat to end the subsidies, New York and several other states filed a lawsuit to try to get the money back. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said it will sow dysfunction in the state’s and the nation’s health care system.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo joined other New York Democrats in condemning the federal tax overhaul plan in the wake of Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to western New York.

Cuomo, also speaking in Buffalo where the vice president was attending a fundraiser for Rep. Chris Collins, said a provision in the tax overhaul to eliminate deductibility for state and local taxes would deliver a “death blow” to New York. He said it would result in “double taxation” and be a windfall for other states at New York’s expense.

A wide variety of groups have spent over $1.3 million dollars to urge voters to vote no on  holding a Constitutional Convention. The opponents have far outspent a smaller number of advocates who urge a "yes" vote on the November ballot.  

The more than 150-member coalition opposing a constitutional convention includes labor unions, and the state’s Conservative Party, which often opposes unions. Also against the convention- both pro and anti abortion groups, environmentalists and gun rights organizations.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is going to court to fight President Donald Trump’s decision to end subsidies for low-income Americans who get their health care through the Affordable Care Act health exchanges.

Schneiderman said ending the subsidies is an attempt by Trump to “blow up” the nation’s health care system.

“His effort to cut these subsides with no warning or even a plan to contain the fallout is breathtakingly reckless,” Schneiderman said.

The state comptroller has announced that New York is joining 28 other states in offering a program that will help parents with disabled children save money for their future.

The program is modeled on the college savings program, which also is operated by the comptroller’s office. It allows an account to be set up in the name of any New Yorker who is diagnosed with a disability before the age of 26.

New Yorkers have the power on Nov. 7 to decide whether some state officials convicted of a felony should be stripped of their pensions.

But the proposal would not apply to two former legislative leaders and several former associates of Gov. Andrew Cuomo who are accused of corruption.

The ballot proposition before voters on Election Day would allow a judge to determine whether a state official convicted of crimes like bribery or bid-rigging should lose all or part of their pension.

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