Karen Dewitt

NYS Capitol Correspondent

Ways to Connect

Governor Cuomo, who won national praise and attention for championing the passage of same sex marriage in New York, calls President Obama’s support of gay marriage a “major advancement for equal rights in this country.”  Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports…  

The Catholic Church as weighed in on raising the state’s minimum wage, but Governor Cuomo says the chances of an increase becoming law are “dubious."  Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports…

Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed his second blue ribbon panel of the week- this time to oversee infrastructure and capital projects including road and bridge repairs for the state.  Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports…

Governor Cuomo says the task force represents a break from the old way of divvying up money for capital projects like road and bridge repair and new buildings, where each state agency operated in its own little universe.  The governor says there’s a “lot of damage” that needs to be undone.

Anti fracking groups presented Governor Cuomo with 200,000 signatures asking for a ban on the gas drilling process in New York, and a State Senator predicts the opposition will have an effect on the governor.  Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports...

The coalition New Yorkers Against Fracking delivered boxes containing 200,000 signatures to Governor Cuomo’s offices that they say are from state residents who want the gas drilling process banned. An aide politely accepted them, but Governor Cuomo, whose public schedule listed him as being in Albany, did not appear.

Democrats and Republicans in the NYS Senate engaged in partisan squabbling over reform of the state’s campaign finance system.  Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports…

Senate Democrats, who are the minority party in that house, held a news conference with government reform advocates to push for public financing of campaigns, a bill Senate Democratic Leader John Sampson says will lessen the influence of big money special interests in politics.

“Government is being hijacked right now by the Super PACs,” Sampson said.  “You have the haves versus the have-nots.”

Governor Cuomo cast further doubt on issues like campaign finance reform and increasing the states minimum wage to become law this year, and says he’s “shifting” to a new phase of governing instead.  Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports…

Governor Cuomo, in remarks to his cabinet, says he expects a “relatively quiet” end to the legislative session. He says campaign finance reform, including public campaign financing, are measures that he supports, but says that they are “controversial” and “polarizing” issues in the legislature.

Governor Cuomo says he has some goals for the rest of the legislative session, including reforming the campaign finance system and possibly raising the state’s minimum wage.  Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports…

Governor Cuomo previously said he thought that now might not be the right time to raise the minimum wage, but his position has softened in recent days. He now says that “philosophically” he supports an increase, and he cast doubt on opponents’ claims that it would hurt job creation.   

Governor Andrew Cuomo for the first time addressed speculation that he might be a candidate for President in 2016, saying it’s “flattering”, but “distracting”.  Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports…

Governor Andrew Cuomo for the first time addressed speculation that he might be a candidate for President in 2016, saying it’s “flattering”, but “distracting”.

The State Assembly has introduced a bill to permit for the first time in New York State  voluntary public financing of some election campaigns.  Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports...

The Assembly bill would offer an optional public financing system for campaigns for state legislative and statewide offices, giving candidates six dollars for every one dollar in contributions. It is modeled after the New York City system and would be financed, in part, through a $5 check off option on state income taxes.  

New York’s Presidential primary is today, but the initial excitement over the vote vanished when Rick Santorum dropped out earlier this month. State GOP leaders say they are looking ahead to the general election instead.  Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports…

The effort to legalize mixed martial arts, also known as ultimate fighting, in New York, got a boost in the legislature Wednesday. The Senate passed a bill to legalize the sport, by a vote of 43 to 14, and the Speaker of the Assembly opened the door to possible approval in his house.  Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports…

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says he has “mixed feelings” about mixed martial arts.

A historic preservation group is weighing in on hydro fracking for the first time, and they don't like what they say they’ve been learning about the gas drilling process. They say it would change the nature of the landscape from rural to industrial and would detract from heritage tourism in the Marcellus shale region.  Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports…

Governor Cuomo has issued an executive order to create a state health care exchange, required by the federal health care reform law, after the legislature failed to act.

Governor Cuomo has vetoed over half a million dollars of legislative member items, saying he’s following through on a promise to ban the funds, which have been used in the past to finance lawmakers’ pet projects. 

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