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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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Republican Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich intends it as an insult  when he calls  President Obama the “food stamp President”. Governor Andrew Cuomo seems not to fear being called the food stamp governor- he’s proposing ways that more New Yorkers in need can access the federal program.

 

A plan to build the largest convention center in the nation was the centerpiece of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s  State of the State speech.  Since then, the plan has met with mixed reviews, and the governor admits he has more selling to do.

Marie Cusick, WMHT

Governor Cuomo is for the second year in a row asking the state legislature to enact some changes that promise to shake up business as usual at the Capitol.  While, the governor was successful in persuading the legislature to adopt his ideas during his first year in office, it’s not yet known whether he have as much luck in the second year.

Cuomo’s budget plan contains at least two major policy shifts that the governor admits “pose dramatic change” that will unsettle the “big players” in Albany.

The dates for primary elections in 2012 remain up in the air, with Democrats wanting a June date and Republicans preferring August, as they await a federal court ruling.

Governor Cuomo released a state budget plan that closes a $2 billion dollar gap, recommends a phased in state takeover of county health care costs, and offers an ultimatum to schools to accept a teacher evaluation program or lose increased school funding.

Governor Cuomo closes this year’s budget gap by reducing spending at state agencies by $1.3 billion dollars, and reducing aid to local governments by another $756 million dollars.  

Governor Cuomo released a state budget plan that closes a $2 billion dollar gap, recommends a phased in state takeover of county health care costs, and offers an ultimatum to schools to accept a  teacher evaluation program or lose access to increased school funding.

Cuomo closes this year’s budget gap by reducing spending at state agencies by over a billion dollars. He already agreed to raise taxes on the wealthy back in December.

Governor Cuomo says he intends to take on what he calls the “education bureaucracy” this year.  Cuomo’s new budget plan, to be released Tuesday afternoon, will likely further that goal.

One day before he was to release his budget plan, Governor Cuomo spoke at the state’s Martin Luther King Day commemoration. He attacked the education establishment, continuing a theme he began in his State of the State message.

 

The State Comptroller finds that tax revenues are coming in at a lower than expected rate. The news comes just days before Governor Cuomo is scheduled to release his state budget.

 

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli says three quarters through the fiscal year, revenues are still down by over $230 million dollars. He says the state will likely end its year in balance, though because of Governor Cuomo’s and the legislature’s  decision to continue an income tax surcharge on the rich that took effect on January 1st.

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo is set to release his state  budget plan on Tuesday.  New York faces a $2 billion dollar budget gap.  

 

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens says one day after the public comment period has closed, a 58 member staff is still opening boxes, but he expects the number of comments on a draft environmental impact statement for hydrofracking in New York State to reach 40,000.

Commissioner Martens says all of the comments will be soon be posted on the DEC website, but he can’t say how long it will take to review them all.  He says the process will likely take “months”, but not years.

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