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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

Disputes over education spending, cash reserves emerge as Pa. budget deadline approaches

The Democratic-controlled state House passed a budget plan this week that includes a major boost to education spending. It faced immediate opposition from Republicans who control the state Senate.
By Stephen Caruso/SpotlightPA

Pa. budget 2023: Your guide to what’s on the table, what comes next, and how to follow along

June is budget negotiation month in Pennsylvania, when state lawmakers decide how to direct billions of tax dollars and make big policy choices on everything from energy to education to health care.

The average Pennsylvanian likely doesn’t have time to prowl the halls of the Capitol in Harrisburg to keep up with the latest developments, which is why Spotlight PA has compiled this guide.

By Stephen Caruso/SpotlightPA

How Harrisburg Works: New caucuses, special election season, and the death of a bill

State House lawmakers have formed a new Jewish caucus. One of the first acts of business: rejecting Doug Mastriano.
By Stephen Caruso/SpotlightPA

Josh Shapiro signs first bill, expands Pa. health insurance coverage for breast cancer screenings

PA Gov. Josh Shapiro has signed a law that requires health insurers to cover breast cancer screenings for high-risk patients.
By Stephen Caruso/SpotlightPA

The Pa. legislature appears to have met a tax break it doesn’t like: one for teachers, nurses, and cops

Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro has proposed a tax credit for new teachers, nurses, and cops. Republicans are skeptical.
By Stephen Caruso/SpotlightPA

An amendment tracker and complete guide to proposed changes in Pennsylvania’s Constitution

Pa. lawmakers are pitching a lot of changes to the state constitution. Use this tracker to learn about them before they end up on your ballot.
By Stephen Caruso/SpotlightPA

What will Pa. House Democrats do with a majority? First, they’re moving long-stalled priority bills.

It’s the first full session week with Democrats in charge of the Pa. House. They’re moving longtime priorities.
By Stephen Caruso/SpotlightPA and Kate Huangpu/Spotlight PA

Pa. primary election 2023: A basic guide to vetting candidates for school board, judge, and more

Local candidates with a lot of direct power over Pennsylvanians’ daily lives will appear on the May 16 primary ballot. Here are some tips to learn more about them.
By Stephen Caruso/SpotlightPA

How Harrisburg Works: Pa. House majority, rules vs. bills, and taxpayer money for Twitter Blue

Several special elections are on the horizon for the Pennsylvania House, but a rule change means Democrats will keep their "majority."
By Stephen Caruso/SpotlightPA

Pa. primary election 2023: Supreme Court candidates with party backing show fundraising advantage

The PA Supreme Court candidates running in the 2023 primary election have raised $365,000 from wealthy donors, their own bank accounts, and more.
By Kate Huangpu/Spotlight PA and Stephen Caruso/SpotlightPA