Karen Dewitt

NYS Capitol Correspondent

Ways to Connect

A spokesman for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says a plan to charge up to $45 for a requirement that license plates more than 10 years old be replaced is no longer going forward. The news comes after a Siena College poll finds New Yorkers strongly oppose having to pay for new license plates.

Karen DeWitt

The vaping industry is reacting to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s upcoming ban on flavored e-cigarettes – saying it is misguided and will force many small business owners to close their shops and lay off employees. Some are predicting legal action.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has issued an executive order to direct the state health department to ban all flavored electronic cigarettes, in response to a vaping heath emergency that has sickened hundreds and killed six people.

Flavored tobacco and e-cigarette products on the shelves of a Stewart's store in Latham.
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

There’s new scrutiny over vaping products of all kinds, as the number of New Yorkers sickened with a disease that is so far related to some black market marijuana vaping products has now risen to 60. Hundreds of people across the U.S. have been sickened and five have died.

New York State Capitol
Karen DeWitt

The first hearing of a state commission to implement a public campaign finance system for New York’s elections was overshadowed by the issue of whether to end fusion voting, which allows candidates to run on multiple ballot lines. Critics of the proposal say Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to strike against a left-leaning party that he’s been feuding with, something the governor denies.

Calling it an “industry-wide conspiracy," New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced his intention to file a lawsuit for the over-prescription of opioids that he says has defrauded  New Yorkers out of billions of dollars.

Public Domain

A New York law that decriminalizes possession of up to two ounces of marijuana is now in effect. Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo says it’s “long overdue.” But some advocates say the law does not go far enough.

New York state Capitol
Jim Levulis / WAMC

The ranks of Senate Republicans in New York have been greatly diminished over the past year, with losses in the November elections, and other GOP Senators saying this summer that they are seeking new jobs.

license plates

A plan by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration to require motorists to pay a $25 fee to replace aging license plates is getting some resistance. The Democratic governor says it’s needed to comply with new cashless scanners being set up on toll roads and bridges all over the state.

New York State Capitol
Karen DeWitt

The first meeting of the commission created to devise a public campaign finance system for New York's political races is scheduled for Wednesday. Advocates hope the commission, which has been slow to start, will start taking steps towards a final report due in December.

Nick Langworthy
Karen DeWitt

The head of the state’s Republican Party says there’s no need to require New Yorkers to buy new license plates beginning in 2020 if their current plates are still readable and in good condition.

New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli
WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

Following economic development corruption scandals, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli have finalized a plan to restore the comptroller’s auditing powers over economic development contracts.


The New York state ethics commission has settled with a former assemblymember and a former senate staffer in two cases involving sexual harassment.

Susanne Robertson, at microphone , left is Dan Ellis of Heramn Law firm, right is Jack Cesare
Karen DeWitt

Hundreds of childhood sexual abuse survivors filed lawsuits in New York courts Wednesday on the start of a one-year window of opportunity for victims to seek civil action against their abusers.

Justice Scales
Adobe Stock

Wednesday is the first day of a yearlong legal window to allow victims of childhood sexual abuse in New York to sue their alleged abusers. Hundreds of cases are expected to be filed on the first day alone.

New York State Capitol
Karen DeWitt

In the wake of two mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio over the weekend, there’s been renewed discussion about states and the federal government adopting what’s known as red flag laws, to get guns out of the hands of potential killers. New York’s red flag law takes effect later this month.   

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is continuing to offer his views in the national debate about gun control. He’s asking Democratic presidential candidates to endorse four gun control measures previously adopted in New York.

Jennifer Freeman, attorney with Marsh Law Firm, and Gordon Smith, childhood sexual abuse survivor
New York Now

Beginning on August 14, New Yorkers who are survivors of childhood sexual abuse will have a one-year window of opportunity to file civil suits against their abusers, under the terms of the Child Victims Act passed by the legislature earlier this year. Thousands of cases are expected to be filed, with payouts potentially in the millions. 

A vote here sign in English and Spanish on sidewalk

Political parties that represent the left and the right of New York’s political spectrum have joined in a common interest, and filed lawsuits against a new commission that might curtail their rights to cross endorse political candidates. Though the two parties in some cases hold diametrically opposing views on policy, they share a belief that Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo is trying to get rid of the practice as part of a political vendetta.   

offshore wind

Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thursday signed into law a bill that could greatly reduce greenhouse gases in New York. He was joined by former Vice President Al Gore, a long time activist against climate change.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo at Wednesday's bill signing ceremony

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a farmworkers’ rights bill into law Wednesday that will for the first time give the workers benefits other employees get, including time off and overtime pay.

The state capitol in Albany
Dave Lucas / WAMC

The first lawsuit has been filed against New York’s new law to permit undocumented immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses, as Governor Andrew Cuomo continues to cast doubt on the effectiveness of the new law.  

A voting machine

A bill to allow automatic voter registration in New York failed in the final days of the legislative session, after a mistake in the language would have allowed undocumented immigrants to vote.  Sponsors say it was an honest mistake, but it caused concern among Republicans in the legislature, and earned Democrats a chiding from Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo. 

drivers license

New York’s county clerks are meeting in Syracuse Monday to discuss a new law that requires county departments of motor vehicles to issue driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants. Meanwhile, some county clerks who are opposed to the law are pressing forward on a federal lawsuit. 

Nick Langworthy, left
Matt Ryan / New York Now

New York’s Republican Party met in a hotel outside Albany Monday to choose its new chair. The Buffalo area’s Nick Langworthy replaces Ed Cox, the son-in-law of President Richard Nixon. The 38-year-old GOP chair promises to bring new energy to the fight against the state’s dominant Democratic Party.

kat_geb - Flickr: 40 / WIkipedia

A bill currently before New York Governor Andrew Cuomo would regulate the sale of CBD products in New York state, and set up new rules for the state’s growing hemp industry. Cuomo has not yet decided whether he’s going to sign it, potentially leaving what is now a legal gray area in limbo.

Governor Andrew Cuomo
Pat Bradley / WAMC

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is on his way to Israel to carry out what he says is an economic mission. But Cuomo says the trip has a personal focus as well.  

New York State Capitol
Karen DeWitt

Advocates of legalizing adult recreational marijuana say they plan to spend the next six months convincing state lawmakers that allowing the drug to be sold and used in New York, after a measure failed in the final days of the session. 

Cuomo, holding a nearly full glass of water Friday to illustrate what the session accomplished, most of the Democrat's goals.
Karen DeWitt

The 2019 New York legislative session was among the most productive in several years, with the passage of bills that ranged from strengthening abortion rights, to allowing undocumented immigrants to get driver’s licenses. If you’re a liberal Democrat, there’s a lot to like. But conservative Republicans are not as pleased. 

New York State Capitol
Karen DeWitt

The New York state Senate and Assembly approved anti-sexual harassment measures that, among other things, ends the standard that harassment needs to be “severe or pervasive” in order for a victim’s complaint to receive redress.