Karen Dewitt | WAMC

Karen Dewitt

NYS Capitol Correspondent

Ways to Connect

NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo
NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo

A decision by New Jersey leaders to raise taxes on the state’s wealthiest residents has given new hope to advocates who want to tax the rich in New York. But Governor Andrew Cuomo and his budget director are throwing cold water on that proposal.

Gantries mounted with sensors and cameras will replace toll booths on the Thruway within the next year.
Karen DeWitt

The New York State Thruway system will transition to cashless tolling in November. All of its tollbooths will go dark, and a network of electronic tolling monitors will switch on.

NY Governor Andrew Cuomo delivers COVID-19 update during April 6, 2020 press briefing
Courtesy of Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

New York’s fiscal year is nearly half over and the state budget remains billions of dollars out of balance, largely due to the effects of the COVID-19 economic shutdown. So far, Governor Andrew Cuomo has been relying on temporary measures to keep the state afloat, but fiscal experts say it’s time to make some hard decisions.

This is a picture of a teacher's classroom desk
Adobe Stock

Monday was the first day back at school for many of New York’s kindergarten through 12th grade students, though some students will learn remotely. Health officials say they will monitor whether the in-person classes cause any outbreaks of COVID-19.

COVID-19 Diagram
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A new poll finds New Yorkers are not optimistic about the fall, with the overwhelming majority saying they expect another COVID-19 outbreak in the coming months.

This is a picture of a teacher's classroom desk
Adobe Stock

Schools in New York are finalizing plans to partially reopen in a few weeks, and many colleges and universities have already begun classes. But those who work at the schools, including teachers and professors, say guidelines for when to wear masks need to be more comprehensive, to help prevent spread of the coronavirus.

Jim Malatras
Pat Bradley / WAMC

Over the weekend, the State University of New York at Oneonta became the first in the 64-campus system to shut down in-person classes for two weeks after a coronavirus outbreak. State and college officials are trying to prevent the college’s closure from becoming a trend.

School Bus at Shenedehowa
ThoseGuys119 | Flickr

More schools around New York say they are scaling back on plans for in person learning and expanding remote instruction. They cite Governor Andrew Cuomo’s temporary 20% cut in state aid to schools, enacted to help close a pandemic related state budget deficit. Now, the attorney who won a court case over a lack of school funding, says the cuts might be unconstitutional, and is looking into seeking an injunction against them.  

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
https://www.flickr.com/photos/governorandrewcuomo/49701753947/

As schools in New York state grapple with reopening plans during the COVID-19 pandemic, they are also facing a temporary 20% cut in state funding that could become permanent.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaking March 25, 2020.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/governorandrewcuomo/49697923781/

Governor Andrew Cuomo calls a federal Department of Justice probe into New York’s nursing home policies at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic “political,” and says President Donald Trump’s Justice Department is targeting Democratic governors. 

NY Governor Andrew Cuomo delivers COVID-19 update during April 6, 2020 press briefing
Courtesy of Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is calling changes in CDC guidelines easing testing standards for Americans exposed to someone with COVID-19 “political propaganda,” and the Democrat says he won’t follow them.

Poll workers wearing masks count ballots
Pat Bradley / WAMC

New York will immediately allow all voters in the state to request a mail-in ballot for the November elections. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed bills into law Thursday that, among other things, allow all eligible voters to cite the COVID-19 pandemic as a reason to vote absentee.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaking March 25, 2020.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/governorandrewcuomo/49697923781/

Governor Andrew Cuomo says the rate of positive coronavirus tests  was below 1% for the twelfth day in New York. But he says it’s not time to be complacent, and predicts there could be worse to come this fall.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

During a brief video address at the first night of the Democratic National Convention, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo spoke of his state's struggles overcoming the coronavirus, and why he thinks former Vice President Joe Biden needs to win the presidential election in November. 

A photo of a gym weight
Jim Levulis / WAMC

Governor Andrew Cuomo says gyms in New York can reopen as early as August 24, but must operate at one third of their regular capacity.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
https://www.flickr.com/photos/governorandrewcuomo/49701753947/

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will headline the first night of the Democratic National Convention, with a speaking slot in prime time Monday night.

Individual workout spaces are taped off at ABC Sports & Fitness in Latham, NY.
Courtesy of ABC SPORTS & FITNESS

The rate of transmission of the coronavirus in New York state remains low and all regions of the state have been in phase four, the final phase of reopening, for at least a month. But some industries have been left out of those plans and remain closed. Owners of gyms, movie theaters, bowling alleys and other indoor based businesses held a news conference to ask why they aren’t allowed to reopen.

wikimedia commons

Family members of nursing home residents, testifying at a legislative hearing this week, told harrowing tales of neglect and unresponsive staff and administrators, while the COVID-19 pandemic raged in New York this spring.

Poll workers wearing masks count ballots
Pat Bradley / WAMC

The June 23 primary was the first in New York to allow all voters the option of casting their ballots by mail. Under an executive order by Governor Andrew Cuomo, registered voters could cite the COVID-19 pandemic as a reason for filling out an absentee ballot. The New York State legislature held a hearing Tuesday on the June primary elections, to find out what went right and what went wrong.

Governor Andrew Cuomo
Pat Bradley / WAMC

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was joined in a telephone news conference by Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear today, to try to put pressure on Congress to finally resolve a stalemate over a federal aid package for cash-strapped states affected by the coronavirus. 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaking March 25, 2020.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/governorandrewcuomo/49697923781/

Governor Andrew Cuomo says New York doesn’t have enough money in its budget to meet a requirement in President Donald Trump’s executive order to fund $100 a week in additional unemployment benefits.

Youtube

The New York State Legislature on Monday held the first of two hearings on the thousands of COVID-19 deaths among nursing home residents.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
https://www.flickr.com/photos/governorandrewcuomo/49701753947/

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says he will announce later this week on what terms that schools can reopen during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. But he put the responsibility for the details back on schools Monday, saying they need to better respond to the concerns of parents.

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This story is part of an NPR nationwide analysis of states' revenue and budgets during the pandemic.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaking March 25, 2020.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/governorandrewcuomo/49697923781/

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says he’ll decide next week on whether schools can partially or fully reopen in September. Meanwhile, many school districts have been busy figuring out safe ways to re-open during the COVID-19 pandemic, and some have already made some preliminary decisions.  

This is a picture of a teacher's classroom desk
Adobe Stock

School board members in New York are concerned that they might not be able to successfully fully or partially reopen schools without an infusion of cash from the state or federal governments.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Pat Bradley / WAMC

Governor Andrew Cuomo has written a letter to New York’s congressional delegation, urging them not to settle for a federal stimulus package that does not include aid to states hard hit by the coronavirus. The plea comes as talks between House Democrats and Senate Republicans in Washington are down to the wire.

Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, at right, speaks at a rally for survivors of childhood sexual abuse Monday.
Karen DeWitt

In August, the New York State Legislature will hold hearings on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s policy on nursing homes during the COVID-19 crisis, including a controversial March 25th directive that required the homes to readmit residents who were in the hospital with COVID-19. Karen DeWitt spoke with Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, who says she’s keeping an open mind. 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaking March 25, 2020.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/governorandrewcuomo/49697923781/

Governor Andrew Cuomo says he’ll take legal action against the federal government, after the Justice Department admitted in court papers Thursday that it was untruthful in its rationale for banning New Yorkers’ access to the Trusted Traveler Program.

NYS Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins
Karen DeWitt

The New York state legislature is approving a bill that would take away the licenses of real estate agents who engage in housing discrimination because of a person’s race.

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