Karen Dewitt | WAMC

Karen Dewitt

NYS Capitol Correspondent

Ways to Connect

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo holds a briefing July 1, 2020.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/governorandrewcuomo/50066215342/

Many COVID-19 pandemic restrictions will end on Wednesday in New York, including capacity restrictions for some sporting events, indoor gatherings, and offices. But Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who set the date for the reopening earlier this month, is not yet ready to abide by new CDC guidelines that say fully vaccinated people no longer have to wear masks in most settings.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaking at Binghamton University April 27, 2021.
WSKG/Vaughn Golden

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thursday fueled new controversy over sexual harassment allegations against him, when the Democrat sought to redefine the definition of sexual harassment in state law during a question and answer session with reporters in the Bronx. 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Pat Bradley / WAMC

It’s been more than two months since New York Attorney General Tish James began investigating multiple allegations of sexual harassment against Governor Andrew Cuomo. The governor, who at first expressed confidence in his fellow Democrat’s ability to be objective, has increasingly questioned her motives.  

New York state Capitol
Jim Levulis / WAMC

Supporters say a bill in the New York State legislature for adult survivors of sexual abuse that’s modeled after New York’s Child Victims Act has a good chance of passing this year. The measure, if approved, might place Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is facing multiple sexual harassment allegations, in an awkward position.   

SUNY administration building in Albany
Ian Pickus / WAMC

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that all state and city university of New York students will have to get a COVID-19 vaccination if they want to take in-person classes during the fall semester. The Democrat also announced other incentives to get more New Yorkers vaccinated, as the rate of those getting their shots continues to decline. 

New York state Capitol
Karen DeWitt

The state Senate held a hearing this week on a measure that would seal conviction records for up to 2 million New Yorkers who have committed serious crimes and served time in prison for them. Senators heard from New Yorkers who were formerly imprisoned or on probation, who say they face barriers to housing and employment because of their convictions, have led to a form of “perpetual punishment.”  

New York State Senate Deputy Majority Leader Mike Gianaris
Karen DeWitt

Governor Andrew Cuomo late Wednesday signed into law the New York HERO Act, which sets enforceable health and safety standards to protect workers from COVID-19 and future infectious diseases in the workplace. Supporters celebrated on Thursday.  

Yankee Stadium
Jim Levulis / WAMC

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that Broadway shows will reopen on Sept. 14, and that there will be new rules for attending baseball games, including incentives for those not vaccinated against COVID-19.

The New York State Capitol
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

The New York State legislature on Tuesday approved measures that would require hospitals and nursing homes meet minimum staffing levels of nurses and other health care workers.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaking at Binghamton University April 27, 2021.
WSKG/Vaughn Golden

Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed a measure passed by the New York State Legislature that extends a moratorium on evictions through August 31. Opponents say the measure doesn’t do enough to help landlords, and should end earlier. 

Gov. Cuomo announces relaxed capacity limits
WAMC screenshot

Governor Andrew Cuomo said Monday that some remaining COVID-19 restrictions in New York will end in a couple of weeks, including capacity limits on events, and in some cases, the 6-foot social distancing rule. The Democrat also announced that 24-hour subway service will return to New York City.

El Loco owner Patrick Noonan, along with Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy, at the restaurant's outdoor dining space on Madison Avenue in Albany
Karen DeWitt

Governor Andrew Cuomo says dining in New York City can operate at 75% of capacity beginning May 7, bringing rules in the city in line with the rest of the state. COVID-19 restrictions are easing for dining at restaurants and drinking at bars across the state, but the industry, hit hard by the pandemic, says more needs to be done. 

Governor Andrew Cuomo speaking in Saranac Lake
Pat Bradley/WAMC

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, facing resistance to lingering COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, says the virus is not yet conquered, and is urging caution on reopening up society too quickly.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaking at Binghamton University April 27, 2021.
WSKG/Vaughn Golden

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who’s facing allegations of sexual harassment from multiple women, said today that he’s eager to tell his side of the story. But, the Democrat says he is refraining from that out of respect for two ongoing investigations into his alleged behavior.

A bartender makes a drink at the Savoy Taproom in Albany, NY.
Karen DeWitt

The New York State Legislature for the first time on Wednesday rescinded some of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s restrictions put in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic, including a rule that prohibited bars and restaurants from serving alcohol unless the customer also ordered food. Lawmakers say with the infection rate going down and vaccinations increasing, they are no longer needed. Cuomo said he was planning to end the orders anyway. 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Pat Bradley / WAMC

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has come under fire for limiting the media’s access and ability to ask him questions as he faces a number of scandals. So far the strategy has delivered some benefits to the embattled Democrat.

A COVID-19 vaccine clinic at the Times Union Center in Albany, NY
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

New Yorkers who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will no longer have to wear masks outdoors, and state-run vaccination sites will no longer require advance appointments, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo.

United States Census 2020 logo
census.gov

By the slimmest of margins, just 89 fewer people, New York will slip from 27 to 26 congressional districts after next year’s elections, now that the 2020 census figures show the state’s population is not growing as fast as most other states.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaking in Syracuse April 26, 2021.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/governorandrewcuomo/51141161774/

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Monday denied all allegations of sexual harassment, made by multiple women, and predicted that a probe of his actions by the state Attorney General will find that he did nothing wrong. In his first in-person session with reporters in several months, the third-term Democrat also defended the way his administration reported the number of nursing home deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic, something federal prosecutors are looking into.

Lee Zeldin
Fox News

Several Republican officeholders who are interested in running for governor New York next year made their case to the state’s GOP county leaders at a meeting in Albany this week. The meeting came as Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has said he wants to run again, has been weakened by a series of scandals.  

The New York State Capitol
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

Supporters of a measure to ensure more workplace safety during future pandemics are urging New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign the bill, which was passed by both houses of the legislature this week. 

New York state Capitol
Jim Levulis / WAMC

The leader of the New York State Assembly’s impeachment inquiry gave a brief update Wednesday regarding several investigations of actions by Governor Andrew Cuomo, including accusations of sexual harassment.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo at his briefing May 5, 2020.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/governorandrewcuomo/49860390977/

A new poll finds that scandals surrounding Governor Andrew Cuomo have taken a toll. While New Yorkers continue to believe the Democrat did a good job leading the state through the COVID-19 pandemic, most believe the multiple women who have accused Cuomo of sexual harassment and do not think the governor should run for office again.  

A picture of Comptroller Tom DiNapoli's letter
WAMC screen capture

New York’s Comptroller is authorizing the state Attorney General to begin a potential criminal probe of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s book deal, looking into whether he used his staff to help him write a memoir about his handling of the pandemic. 

New York State Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy, D-Albany, joins other lawmakers and restaurant owners to push for a two year extension of an alcohol-to-go rule.
Karen DeWitt

New York state lawmakers, along with restaurant owners and their workers, are pressing for a two-year extension of takeout alcoholic beverages. They say the practice, authorized at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, has allowed them to keep their doors open and avoid some layoffs. 

Diane Rehm during the virtual forum April 14, 2021
Karen DeWitt

A virtual rally for a bill to allow terminally-ill New Yorkers to end their lives featured former public radio talk show host Diane Rehm, who is among those advocating for the Aid in Dying Act.  

Governor Andrew Cuomo receives the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine from Dr. Jacqueline Delmont of SOMOS Healthcare at a pop-up vaccination site in Harlem in March.
Kevin P. Coughlin / Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

New York, Massachusetts, Vermont and Connecticut have paused administering the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, after the FDA and CDC recommended halting the doses because a small percentage of recipients developed blood clots. 

New York State Capitol
Karen DeWitt

Criminal justice advocates say they hope to build on victories in recent weeks like the legalization of adult recreational use of marijuana to gain more reforms for members of minority communities who are incarcerated at higher rates than white New Yorkers. 

Assemblyman Ron Kim, a Queens Democrat, spoke at a rally to celebrate the inclusion of new taxes on the wealthy and increased school funding in the state budget, at a rally outside the State Capitol on April 7, 2021.
Karen DeWitt

Progressive Democrats in the New York state legislature took a victory lap Wednesday, after passing a $212 billion budget that achieves many of their long-term goals, including a substantial increase in taxes on the wealthy and the fulfillment of a 15-year-old court order to fully fund schools. Meanwhile, Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo, embroiled in several scandals, put the best face on items that did not go his way.  

School bus
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The New York state budget includes a $3 billion increase in school funding, as part of a plan to fulfill a 15-year-old court order that required the state to spend significantly more on its schools to guarantee every child’s constitutional right to an education.  

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