Karen DeWitt

Capitol Bureau Correspondent

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.

Ways to Connect

Karen DeWitt / WXXI

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli was nominated to run for a second full term.

DiNapoli, who compared himself to the “happy warrior” of former Governor Al Smith, has  had his differences with fellow Democrat Governor Cuomo, and says he does not know if Cuomo will endorse him.

The Republican candidate for governor, Rob Astorino, claims an aid to Governor Cuomo made him sit in the back during President Obama’s visit to the Tappan Zee Bridge Wednesday, a charge Cuomo’s spokesman denies.

President Obama spoke near the bridge in Westchester County on the opening day of the state Republican Party convention, held just a few miles away nearby.

The Westchester County Executive, Rob Astorino, who is also the GOP nominee for governor, attended the event, along with his opponent, incumbent Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo.


A new poll finds Governor Cuomo in a double digit lead against his Republican opponent for the fall elections. But the survey finds that ratio changes, if a progressive third party candidate emerges.

Department of Health Commissioner Nirav Shah sent a letter to Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens today, asking for more time to complete a review of the public health impacts of fracking.

This means that the DEC will miss tomorrow's deadline to complete its overall environmental review of fracking (known as the SGEIS), and the regulations it's written to govern the industry will expire at the end of the month.

This development could stall a final decision on fracking for months, but in a statement Martens says his agency will still be able to issue well permits if the health review concludes that the SGEIS is adequate.

A document from Governor Cuomo’s administration assessing the health impacts of hydrofracking, written less than a year ago, says the gas drilling process is likely safe if proper precautions are taken by the governor’s environmental agency, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). 

Tracking Sandy through Upstate

Oct 27, 2012
National Hurricane Center

Governor Cuomo spent Sunday traveling from Long Island to the Adirondacks in an effort to inform New Yorkers of storm preparation and warning residents to use common sense and caution.

Cuomo made stops in New York City and Long Island, where the storm is predicted to hit the hardest.  He also went to upstate areas in the Southern Tier, Mohawk Valley and Adirondacks that suffered during last year’s storms, Irene and Lee.

The Governor says 1100 National Guard troops have been deployed, and he’s monitoring utility companies in the event of power outages.

Governor Cuomo pledged to invest more money into promoting the state’s growing wine, beer, and spirits industries, following a day long special summit at the State Capitol.

Governor Cuomo heard the concerns of dozens of New York State based wineries, as well as craft brewery and distillery owners, in a second of its kind summit focusing on a New York based industry. This summer he held a Greek yogurt summit.

Governor Andrew Cuomo is telling local governments they are on their own when it comes to coping with a recently imposed property tax cap, saying it’s up to county and city government leaders to make the hard choices, and to stop complaining.

Local government leaders have been warning that the 2% property tax cap imposed by Governor Cuomo and the legislature last year will severely squeeze their finances, and that key programs  and workers will have to be cut.

The state’s environmental commissioner for the first time commented in depth about a new health review that has once again delayed a decision on hydro fracking in New York. But Commissioner Joe Martens says there are still some unanswered questions.  

Commissioner Martens comments are the first after a tersely worded two paragraph statement issued in late – September . It said the State’s Health Commissioner, Dr. Nirav Shah, would conduct a review of health impact data compiled by the Department of Environmental Conservation.