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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.

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Jurors have been chosen in the public corruption trial of Governor Cuomo’s former top aide Joe Percoco and told to report back at 9:15 am Tuesday morning for opening statements.

The racially diverse jury of five men and seven women were chosen from a pool of thirty potential jurors, some of whom expressed strong feelings about corruption and big money in politics, and even about hydro fracking.

Matt Ryan New York Now

On Monday, the first of a series of federal corruption trials begins for several former associates of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The proceedings in the federal courthouse in lower Manhattan will focus on bribery and other charges against Cuomo’s former closest aide, Joe Percoco. 

Percoco worked for Cuomo and his father, the late Gov. Mario Cuomo, on and off since Percoco was a teenager. Mario Cuomo once referred to Percoco as his “third son.”

Governor Cuomo's office

Governor Cuomo says despite the government shutdown, he’s going to try to use state money to keep the Statue of Liberty, which is in a federal park, open. And he says the  closure of the statue is a metaphor for what he says President Trump and Congress are doing through their policies on immigration.

“When they try to kick out immigrants, when they try to deport Dreamers, they’re trying to close down the Statue of Liberty,” said Cuomo. “I’m volunteering that the state will pay to keep the Statue of Liberty open.”

Matt Ryan New York Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is proposing an increase in school aid of over three-quarters of a billion dollars, a rise of about 3 percent over last year, but some say that’s not enough to meet school districts’ rising costs.

The $769 million hike is about half of the increase that schools ultimately received in last year’s budget. Cuomo, in his budget presentation to the state Legislature, said he anticipates some blowback.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has introduced legislation to end what’s known as the carried interest loophole, a measure long sought by the left of the governor’s Democratic Party. 

Under Cuomo’s bill, carried interest — which is essentially income for partners of hedge funds and other private investment companies — would have to be taxed at the same rate as income. Currently, it is assessed at the lower rate of the capital gains tax.

Karen DeWitt

A report by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s tax department lists ways that New Yorkers could get around the loss of some of their state and local tax deductions under the new law. But all of them come with complications.

When the federal tax overhaul law was signed by President Donald Trump in December, Americans lost their ability to deduct much of their state and local taxes from their federal tax forms. As Cuomo has said repeatedly, the loss of what are known as the SALT deductions harms taxpayers the most in relatively high-tax states like New York.

State Senator Jeff Klein, a Bronx Democrat, spoke publicly for the first time since an investigation has begun into allegations that he sexually harassed a female staffer.

Klein, who has denied that he forcibly kissed a former female staffer in 2015, says an investigation has begun by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, or JCOPE. The leader of the Independent Democratic Conference in the Senate says he’ll fully cooperate.

“I expect to be vindicated,” Klein said.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled a $168 billion budget plan that would close an over $4 billion gap by reducing some spending and imposing tax increases on health insurers, big businesses and prescription opioid users, among others. Cuomo said he also wants to look into legalizing marijuana in New York.

“This is going to be challenging, my friends,” Cuomo told lawmakers gathered at the state museum for the budget presentation.

Governor Cuomo's office

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, speaking at the annual Martin Luther King Day event at the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, mocked Republican senators who said they can’t recall President Donald Trump uttering a vulgarity during a meeting at the White House on immigration.

Cuomo, who earlier called the president’s comments “ugly” and “repulsive,” condemned two GOP senators – David Perdue of Georgia and Tom Cotton of Arkansas – who say they either did not hear or do not recall Trump using a vulgar word to describe African countries.

A poll on New Yorkers' attitudes on racism and sexual harassment show that many believe society has a way to go to improve things.

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