Karen Dewitt

NYS Capitol Correspondent

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New York News
8:25 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Senate Rejects Cuomo's Bank Tax Cuts

Credit Karen DeWitt

A co-leader of the New York State Senate is claiming victory for the Senate’s rejection of a cut in banking taxes proposed by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

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New York News
3:52 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Legislature To Add School Funding, But Advocates Say Not Enough

Credit Karen DeWitt

New York State Assembly Democrats say there should be more money for schools and the environment, and major changes to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plan to freeze property taxes. It’s all part of a one-house budget resolution, the first step in reaching agreement on a final spending plan by the end of March.

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New York News
5:56 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Senate GOP To End Boycott Of Regents Elections, Many Will Vote No

Senate Republicans say they will break a long standing tradition of boycotting the election of new Regents. They now say they will attend a joint legislative session, and that many will vote no over dissatisfaction with the Common Core.

Senate Education Chair John Flanagan says Republican Senators will be attending a joint session of the legislature to appoint board of Regents members to new terms. But he says many GOP members will be voting no.

“There’s a very strong feeling that not enough has been done,” Flanagan said. “And they’re still not listening.”

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New York News
3:25 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

NY Assembly, Senate Budget Plans Due

Credit AP File Photo

Budget negotiations are expected to get serious at the New York State Capitol this week, with the spending plan due at the end of the month.

The Senate and Assembly are due to put out their one house budget resolutions on Wednesday, the first step toward reaching a final deal with Governor Andrew Cuomo later this month.

There are a number of unresolved issues, including how to pay for and structure a plan to provide universal pre-kindergarten to New York’s four-year-olds. A multi-step plan proposed by Governor Cuomo to freeze property taxes has faced skepticism.   

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New York News
6:10 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Growing Unease Over Cuomo's Tax Freeze Plan

Credit Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

There’s growing unease over New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s tax freeze plan. 100 local government officials have signed a letter opposing the plan, including Syracuse Mayor and state Democratic Party Co-Chair Stephanie Miner. And there are signs that the legislature may modify what critics have called an overly complex proposal when the Senate and Assembly release their one house state budgets.

The lobby groups for the state’s counties, cities, and school boards are voicing numerous concerns. Tim Kremer is with the State School Boards Association.

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New York News
6:10 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Mayor, Governor Speak at Dueling Rallies in Albany

Governor Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at dueling rallies on education at the State Capitol that highlighted the two politicians’ differences over education issues.   

A rally to promote New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan for universal pre kindergarten  had been planned for weeks. The mayor spoke to around 1500 union members, urging them to put the pressure on state lawmakers to approve in the state budget the mayor’s plan to provide the classes for thousands of four year olds starting in September.

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New York News
8:02 am
Tue March 4, 2014

Cuomo Promotes State Budget Priorities

Credit Photo Provided

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is spending some of his $33 million dollar campaign war chest on ads to promote his state budget priorities.

The ads, which feature in part Cuomo speaking directly to camera , focus on the governor’s pitch for his tax cut plan and an ethics package that includes public financing of political campaigns and a crack down on bribery.

Karen Scharff, with Citizen Action, says the ethics ads are a good sign.

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New York News
6:10 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Advocates Say Lack Of Money At Core of Schools Struggles

Credit Karen DeWitt

  The deadline for the state budget is approaching, and education issues are taking center stage. One day before massive rallies for universal pre-K and charter schools, other advocates say they’ve gathered evidence for potentially another lawsuit for more state aid for schools.

The Alliance for Quality Education has been touring schools around the state to document what they say is erosion in districts in economically depressed areas.

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New York News
6:06 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Astorino Expected To Announce Candidacy For Governor

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino speaks with reporters in Albany
Credit Karen DeWitt

It’s expected that Republicans will have an announced candidate for governor as early as next week. Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino has formed an exploratory committee and has expressed interest in what most believe will be an uphill climb, against Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is seeking re-election.

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New York News
6:16 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Senate Ruling Coalition Gains A New Member

The ruling coalition in the New York state Senate has grown by one member. Senator Tony Avella, of Queens, has left the minority Democrats to join the governing coalition of Republicans and Independent Democrats.

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