Karen Dewitt

NYS Capitol Correspondent

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New York News
6:06 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

Thousands Rally In Albany For More Charter Schools

It was the charter schools’ turn to rally at the State Capitol Wednesday in support of Governor Cuomo’s proposal to allow 100 more charter schools in New York.

Thousands of charter school students on 450 buses, along with their parents and teachers, came to the Capitol for a rally that was billed by organizers as a school field trip.  They heard nearly two hours of speeches, watched dance performances, and saw celebrities like Grammy winning singer Ashanti.

Among the speakers, Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos, and Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul.

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New York News
6:06 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Watchdog Group Says Cuomo Counting Too Heavily On Future Budget Surpluses In Spending Plan

Credit ..::WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas::..

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is taking credit for the state budget’s turn around from huge gaps to healthy surpluses, but a watchdog group says Cuomo is relying on future funds that have not yet materialized.

Cuomo often lists his achievements as governor when he gives speeches, and he likes to recount how he turned the state’s finances around, as in his Inaugural address earlier this year.

“We turned a $10 billion dollar deficit into a $5 billion dollar surplus,” Cuomo said on January 1st.

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New York News
2:18 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Teachers To Rally Against Cuomo's Proposals On Monday

Credit nysut.org

Teachers have been holding rallies all around the state protesting Governor Cuomo’s education proposals, and hundreds are expected to converge on the Capitol late Monday to protest over reliance on standardized tests,   and other issues.

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New York News
6:06 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Cuomo Meets With Legislative Leaders In Albany

Credit Office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

Budget talks began Wednesday, as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo met behind closed doors with legislative leaders to discuss school aid, economic development proposals and ethics reform. Cuomo’s push to reform practices in the legislature comes at a time when his nearly $1 million dollar book deal is coming under closer scrutiny.

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New York News
6:06 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Poll Finds New Yorkers Don't Want A Late Budget Over An Ethics Fight

Credit WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

    Governor Andrew Cuomo has repeatedly threatened to hold up the state budget over ethics reform and other issues, like education policy. Now, a poll finds that voters would rather that the budget be on time. The spending plan is due March 31st and lawmakers return to Albany Wednesday to begin several weeks of negotiations.

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New York News
2:00 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

New York Raises Minimum Wage For Tipped Workers

Credit Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

A state wage board has agreed to raise the minimum wage for tipped workers form $5.00 to $7.50 an hour. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the change at a rally with union leaders.

Cuomo, speaking to the union members,  renewed his call to raise the state’s minimum wage for non-tipped workers to $10.50 an hour, $11.50 in New York City. Cuomo says businesses are making “record profits.” 

“Business is doing well, God bless ’em,” Cuomo said. “But it is time that they share. We are looking at a polarization of income in this country like we’ve never seen before.”

Not everyone was pleased with the increase. The state’s Restaurant and Tavern Association says it’s disappointed that the Governor’s wage board did not limit the minimum wage for highly tipped workers to $6.50 an hour.  The group predicts that it will slow job growth, and is considering legal action. 

New York News
6:06 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Reformers Say Cuomo's Ethics Proposals Don't Go Far Enough

Governor Andrew Cuomo has outlined his plan for greater transparency of state lawmakers’ outside income, and has made it part of his budget proposal. Good government groups say they wish he had gone farther.

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WAMC News
6:06 pm
Fri February 13, 2015

Debate Over "Three Men In A Room" In Albany

Credit Office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

Once the President’s week break is finished, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the legislature will have to start discussing the 2015 budget.  But the traditional style of budget making in New York, known as "three men in a room," is coming under criticism, by among others, the U.S. Attorney currently investigating corruption at the Capitol.  Some are wondering whether it’s time to end the secretive practice.

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New York News
6:06 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

New York Court Of Appeals Back On Track, After Lengthy Vacancies

Credit Albany, NY

For the first time in months, the state’s highest court has all seven judges on the bench, now that the State Senate has confirmed Governor Andrew Cuomo’s two newest choices on the court.

The confirmation of Judges Eugene Fahey and Leslie Stein sailed through the State Senate, after Governor Cuomo put off announcing his choices, and the Senate delayed scheduling hearings, despite state laws requiring that vacancies on the court be filled promptly.

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New York News
6:06 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

Supporters Of Tax Credit Rally At New York State Capitol

Credit WAMC/Pat Bradley

  Supporters of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s education tax credit were at the Capitol to persuade lawmakers that the credit, which would benefit donors to private and charter schools, should be approved as part of the state budget.  

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