Cynthia Fernandez/Spotlight PA

Cynthia Fernandez covers the most important news and events from the Capitol and state legislature. She is a member of the second class of Lenfest Fellows, a program of the Lenfest Institute for Journalism and supported by the Independence Public Media Foundation. Cynthia joined Spotlight PA from Boston, where she recently completed an undergraduate degree in journalism, with a concentration in computer science, from Boston University. She has interned at several news organizations, including Muck Rock, WBUR, and Boston Magazine. Most recently, she was a part-time breaking news reporter at the Boston Globe and a research assistant for their Spotlight team. A Cuban immigrant and Miami native, Cynthia is particularly interested in reporting on marginalized communities and how they interface with institutional and governmental systems.

Latest by Cynthia Fernandez/Spotlight PA


Voters may never again get to choose Pa.’s lieutenant governor candidates

A proposed constitutional amendment would allow a gubernatorial candidate to choose their running mate after the spring primary, much like the presidential race.

By Cynthia Fernandez/Spotlight PA

The $1 billion plan to close the gap between growing and shrinking Pa. school districts

An average shrinking district saw funding increase by $3,200 per student over the past three decades, according to a January report from Public Citizens for Children and Youth, a nonprofit led by a member of former Gov. Ed Rendell’s cabinet.

By Cynthia Fernandez/Spotlight PA

Pa. enacted 140 laws last year. Only 27 of them addressed the coronavirus.

Only 27 of the 140 bills passed by the legislature and signed by Wolf in 2020 directly addressed problems brought on by the pandemic, according to a Spotlight PA review of the General Assembly’s record.

By Angela Couloumbis/Spotlight PA and Cynthia Fernandez/Spotlight PA

There’s another path for survivors of clergy sex abuse to get justice. It faces an uphill climb in the legislature.

Some survivors and their advocates believe the quickest way to remedy the problem is to abandon the time-consuming path of amending the state constitution, and instead approve the two-year window through regular legislation.

By Angela Couloumbis/Spotlight PA and Cynthia Fernandez/Spotlight PA

Law enforcement in Pa. preparing for possible unrest despite ‘no specific threats’ to the Capitol

“While there are no specific threats to the Capitol or the Capitol Complex, we are taking actions out of the abundance of caution, to be prepared in case any situations arise,” Capitol Police Superintendent Joseph Jacob told reporters Thursday.

By Cynthia Fernandez/Spotlight PA and Joseph Darius Jaafari/Spotlight PA

Pa. GOP lawmakers want voters to give them the power to end governor’s emergency orders

The proposed constitutional amendment is the result of long-festering resentment against Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf over his actions to control the coronavirus pandemic.

By Cynthia Fernandez/Spotlight PA

Top Pa. lawmakers who rejected election results denounce U.S. Capitol mob

In the state House, Republican leadership said in a joint statement, “Any act of violence or destruction is a crime and should be treated as such.”

By Cynthia Fernandez/Spotlight PA

As coronavirus hits home, Pa. GOP shifts messaging but still rejects mandates

At least two Republican lawmakers said Gov. Tom Wolf’s COVID-19 diagnosis was proof masks and other mitigation efforts don’t work.

By Cynthia Fernandez/Spotlight PA

Updated: December 9, 2020 | 2:58 pm

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf tests positive for the coronavirus

“During a routine test yesterday, I tested positive for COVID-19,” Wolf said in a Wednesday statement.

By Angela Couloumbis/Spotlight PA and Cynthia Fernandez/Spotlight PA
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