Give Now NCPR is made possible by
Your Donations
 

NCPR News Staff: Karen DeWitt
Capitol Correspondent

Below are recent NCPR news stories filed by Karen DeWitt.

Show             
NYS Assembly districts (detail). Map: NYS
NYS Assembly districts (detail). Map: NYS

Supporters launch "Yes" campaign for redistricting amendment

Supporters of a November ballot amendment on redistricting say it will help prevent rampant partisan gerrymandering when the next district lines are drawn in the Senate and the Assembly.

The groups Citizens Union and League of Women Voters are making voters aware of the amendment and giving voters reasons why they should approve the measure.  Go to full article
Brian Sampson of Unshackle Upstate at a Rochester Town Hall meeting in 2010. Photo: Still from Youtube video
Brian Sampson of Unshackle Upstate at a Rochester Town Hall meeting in 2010. Photo: Still from Youtube video

Business group praises Senate GOP voting record, pans Democrats

An upstate pro-business group is out with ratings for the Senate and Assembly and finds, not surprisingly, that more liberal Democrats are at odds with the group's agenda than conservative leaning Republicans.

Unshackle Upstate says this could have implications for the group's interests if Democrats take over the Senate in November.  Go to full article
Student using an iPad in class. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/ctd/6339518618/">Chris Deigan</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Student using an iPad in class. Photo: Chris Deigan, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Voters will decide education bond act this fall

Voters in New York will decide in November whether the state should borrow $2 billion for new technology including iPads in school classrooms. Teachers and school administrators who could benefit from the funds say they are supportive but want to see more details.

The bond act, as it reads on the November ballot, would provide access to classroom technology and high-speed internet connections, as well as offer funds to build more pre-kindergarten classrooms, and replace the trailers that some overcrowded schools in New York City have been using to teach students.  Go to full article
State eduation commissioner John King fielded hostile questions from across the North Country at a Schroon Lake forum. Photo: Ian Lowe, high school senior at Schroon Lake Central School, used by permission
State eduation commissioner John King fielded hostile questions from across the North Country at a Schroon Lake forum. Photo: Ian Lowe, high school senior at Schroon Lake Central School, used by permission

Progress on Common Core tests, but 2/3 students still fail

The state released the results of last year's Common Core tests yesterday. New York's school children made incremental progress in math scores but no gains in English tests in the second year of the exams. Education officials say overall, only around one third of students actually passed the tests. Karen Dewitt reports.  Go to full article
NYS Assembly districts (detail). Map: NYS
NYS Assembly districts (detail). Map: NYS

Will ballot amendment ease gerrymandering "scheming?"

Government reform groups are split over whether an amendment on the November ballot to change the way legislative district lines are drawn is an improvement, or will make only make gerrymandering worse.  Go to full article
Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/gwilmore/75404102">Garry Wilmore</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved.
Photo: Garry Wilmore, Creative Commons, some rights reserved.

Who's paying for state leaders' legal fees? You.

Governor Cuomo's administration and the legislature are spending around $1.3 million dollars this year in payments to private law firms, and the public is paying for it, says a fiscally conservative study center.  Go to full article
Billy Easton, with Alliance for Quality Education, explains report showing schools are underfunded by billions of dollars. Photo: Karen DeWitt
Billy Easton, with Alliance for Quality Education, explains report showing schools are underfunded by billions of dollars. Photo: Karen DeWitt

Education advocates say use $4B surplus for schools

The state recently announced it projects a $4.2 billion surplus this year. Education funding advocates say it should be used to fully fund schools in New York, particularly those in the poorest areas.  Go to full article
Bob Antonacci, Republican candidate for state Comptroller. Photo: Ryan Delaney, WRVO
Bob Antonacci, Republican candidate for state Comptroller. Photo: Ryan Delaney, WRVO

What's a publicly financed campaign like? Slow.

There is only one statewide candidate in New York who is participating in a pilot public campaign finance program. Republican candidate for Comptroller Bob Antonacci says it's been slow going, but he expects to collect enough individual donors to qualify for the state matching funds.  Go to full article
Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/toby_d1/5545056888/">Pete Zarria</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Photo: Pete Zarria, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Cuomo keeping options open on use of surplus windfall

For the first time in several years, New York has a surplus of $3 to $4 billion. Governor Cuomo says he's still looking at options on how best to use it.  Go to full article
Governor Andrew Cuomo. Photo:  Mark Kurtz
Governor Andrew Cuomo. Photo: Mark Kurtz

Cuomo: campaign funds for criminal defense lawyer saves taxpayers money

Governor Cuomo is using money from his $35-million campaign war chest to pay for a criminal defense lawyer in a federal probe of his office. Critics say while it's legal to do so, it's not an appropriate use of campaign money.

Cuomo's hired prominent criminal defense attorney Elkan Abramowitz to represent his office during a federal investigation of the governor's ethics commission. US Attorney Preet Bharara is looking into whether some of the governor's top aides might have meddled in probes conducted by the commission when they came too close to Cuomo donors and associates.  Go to full article

1-10 of 3177 stories   next 10 »   last »


Karen DeWitt has covered state government and politics at the New York State Capitol for public radio for since 1990, and is a contributor to the statewide public television program New York Now. Before that she worked for WINS, New York. She has also written for numerous publications, including Adirondack Life, Empire State Report, and MetrolandEmail Karen | Karen DeWitt on Twitter