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.


3:59 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Health Commissioner Tells DEC: Fracking Review Needs More Time

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 11:18 am

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.

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9:53 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Speaker Silver says "Pension Smoothing" is Comptroller's Call

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WXXI Top Stories
12:01 am
Thu January 3, 2013

February 2012 Report from NY State Health Dept Says Fracking Could Be Done Safely

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). 

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WXXI Top Stories
11:43 am
Sat October 27, 2012

Tracking Sandy through Upstate

Credit National Hurricane Center
  • Governor Andrew Cuomo discusses the state of emergency declaration Friday, ahead of Hurricane Sandy.

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.

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Capitol Bureau
5:29 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Cuomo Holds Wine, Beer and Spirits Summit

Kris Kane of 21 Brix Winery shows off his wares at a reception at the governor's mansion following the summit

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.

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Capitol Bureau
5:35 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

Cuomo: Local Gov'ts Need to Cope With Tax Cap on Their Own

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.

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Capitol Bureau
3:40 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Environmental Commissioner Offers Fracking Update

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.  

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Capitol Bureau, Election 2012
5:53 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

GOP Candidates Use Cuomo's Image to Bolster Campaigns

Governor Cuomo is not running for office this year- but his face and name are still appearing in election mailers in many New York homes.  That’s because state lawmakers from both parties running for re election are using the popular governor’s image in their campaign literature. 

George Amedore, an Assemblyman who is seeking to fill the newly created 63rd Senate seat in the Mohawk and Hudson Valleys, has sent a full color flyer to homes in the district, prominently featuring Amedore clasping hands with a smiling Governor Cuomo. 

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Capitol Bureau
5:18 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Cuomo Says Do "The People's Business" Before Pay Raise

Governor Cuomo says if state lawmakers are looking for a pay raise in a post election session, they’ll have to accomplish some items on his agenda first.

The governor says before state legislators ask him for a pay hike, as is expected once elections are finished, they’ll have to make progress on some unfinished business from the last legislative session first.   

Cuomo says he’s seeking action on increasing the minimum wage, reforming New York City’s Stop and Frisk laws, and decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana .

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Capitol Bureau
4:38 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Cuomo says Troopers' "Troubled" History is in the Past

New York’s first graduating class of state troopers in three years received their diplomas in a ceremony Tuesday. Governor Cuomo, who spoke at the event, says he hopes some of the recent controversies surrounding New York’s elite police unit is behind them. 

The New York State Police Pipe and Drum Band marched solemnly past the rows of the 133 neatly gray uniformed new troopers, the first to join the ranks of the state police since 2009.

Governor Cuomo says the state’s fiscal crisis led to the longest delay in hiring new state police since the 1970’s.

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