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Stephen Caruso/SpotlightPA

Capitol Reporter

Twitter: @StephenJ_Caruso
Telephone: (267) 846-9034
Signal: (267) 846-9034

Focus: Governor’s office, legislature
Pennsylvania’s governor and 253-member General Assembly drive decision making in Harrisburg. Their often closed-door dealings dictate how billions in taxpayer dollars are spent each year. They also make public policy decisions on issues from energy and criminal justice to naming an official state amphibian. Caruso analyzes what gets done and why, and holds lawmakers accountable for what lingers on Harrisburg’s agenda.

A New York native, Caruso attended the University of Pittsburgh, where he learned how to report at his student newspaper, The Pitt News. After graduating, he moved to Harrisburg in March 2018, where he has covered state government and politics, in particular the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

Latest by Stephen Caruso/SpotlightPA

Gov. Josh Shapiro uses Pennsylvania’s state plane much more than his predecessor

Pennsylvania taxpayers paid $410,000 for state flights last year, the most since 2011. Shapiro took most of those flights.
By Stephen Caruso/SpotlightPA

Group that doesn’t disclose its donors paid $12K for Shapiro to attend Phillies games, other sporting events

The secrecy leaves taxpayers in the dark about who underwrites the outings and what interests they may have in state government policy.
By Stephen Caruso/SpotlightPA and Angela Couloumbis/Spotlight PA

In low-turnout Pa. primary, location and luck may have mattered more than policy

Tuesday’s election saw a major upset in the Democratic race for state treasurer and a decisive win in a crowded Democratic attorney general field.
By Stephen Caruso/SpotlightPA, Angela Couloumbis/Spotlight PA and Katie Meyer/Spotlight PA

Pa. election 2024: What the latest fundraising reports tell us about the attorney general race

The five Democrats running to be Pennsylvania’s attorney general raised almost $1.2 million ahead of the April 23 primary, while the GOP establishment continued its support for one candidate.
By Stephen Caruso/SpotlightPA and Kate Huangpu/Spotlight PA

Pa. election 2024: A guide to vetting primary legislative candidates

The entire Pennsylvania House and half of the state Senate will be on the ballot in 2024. Learn more about how to research the candidates.

By Stephen Caruso/SpotlightPA

Why Pa.’s efforts to regulate social media companies have failed so far

Bills that would ban TikTok and regulate kids’ social media accounts have been debated in Pennsylvania, but lawmakers haven’t found a consensus.
By Stephen Caruso/SpotlightPA

‘Dark money’ groups would be forced to disclose how they spend on Pa.’s elections under advancing bill

Two bills would make small changes to the state’s notoriously lax campaign finance laws, which put no limit on the amount of money donors can give candidates and political committees.
By Stephen Caruso/SpotlightPA

Pa. election 2024: How much the Democratic and Republican attorney general candidates have raised

The Republican attorney general candidate who received his party’s nod has a small fundraising advantage over his opponent, while Democratic donors have yet to coalesce around one of the five candidates.

By Stephen Caruso/SpotlightPA, Kate Huangpu/Spotlight PA and Katie Meyer/Spotlight PA

Gov. Josh Shapiro wants to spend $80M to attack Pennsylvania’s housing crisis. Here’s how.

Gov. Shapiro’s proposed budget would put state money behind a popular home repair program, anti-homelessness initiatives, and public legal defense against evictions.

By Stephen Caruso/SpotlightPA and Charlotte Keith/Spotlight PA

Pennsylvania is flush with surplus cash, but it still faces a looming budget problem

Pennsylvania persistently spends more than it makes in revenue, but lawmakers have struggled for years to agree on lasting solutions.
By Stephen Caruso/SpotlightPA and Kate Huangpu/Spotlight PA