Author

Laura Olson

Laura Olson

Laura covers the nation's capital as a senior reporter for States Newsroom, a network of nonprofit outlets that includes Ohio Capital Journal. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections, and campaign finance.

Pushback against ‘vaccine passports’ puts colleges in a quandary

By: - April 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — Florida’s Nova Southeastern University joined a small group of U.S. colleges on April 1, when the private research university announced that it would require all students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before returning to campus this fall. In a message posted on the university’s website, NSU’s president and CEO, Dr. […]

Former Wisconsin health leader pledges ‘common-ground’ agenda if confirmed for HHS post

By: - April 19, 2021

WASHINGTON — When Andrea Palm worked at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services during the Obama administration, she says there was a theme to the policy issues that ended up on her plate: ones that required bipartisan cooperation. The agency’s secretary at the time, Sylvia Burwell, had a nickname for Palm’s portfolio: the “common-ground […]

Pause for Johnson & Johnson vaccine extended as federal health panel wrestles with next steps

By: - April 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — Use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 shot will remain paused for at least a week, after a federal vaccine advisory panel said Wednesday that it had too little data on a rare but serious blood-clotting condition reported in at least six women. That means states and federally run vaccine sites will be relying […]

States start pausing J&J vaccine after recommendation from U.S. health officials

By: - April 14, 2021

WASHINGTON — Top public health officials said Tuesday that they are recommending a pause in the use of a COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson “out of an abundance of caution” following six cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot, and states and localities immediately began moving to suspend the vaccine’s use. Ohio […]

White House aims sales pitch for infrastructure plan at the states

By: - April 13, 2021

WASHINGTON — Pennsylvania’s 7,540 miles of highway roads in poor condition. Florida’s $100 billion in damages over the last decade from extreme weather events. The 1 in 4 Idahoans with no access to broadband internet, and 1 in 2 living in areas with too-few licensed child care centers. In the next phase of President Joe Biden’s sales pitch for his $2 […]

Biden pitches big boosts in education and health spending in budget request

By: - April 12, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration released a key portion of its budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year Friday, calling for increasing money for schools, public health programs, cancer research and other discretionary programs that it says have been underfunded for too long. The president’s $1.5 trillion request seeks to spend $769 billion on discretionary programs […]

House Ethics launches inquiry into Gaetz following sexual misconduct allegations

By: - April 12, 2021

WASHINGTON — A U.S. House panel has opened an ethics investigation into Rep. Matt Gaetz, the Florida Republican who is already facing a Department of Justice investigation over sex-trafficking allegations. Federal investigators are reportedly examining whether the 38-year-old Gaetz had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl, and whether his involvement with young women broke federal […]

Quest for D.C. statehood finds new friends and foes: Other states

By: - April 8, 2021

WASHINGTON — Congress had yet to even schedule a hearing on a measure granting statehood to the District of Columbia when a panel of state lawmakers in Arizona voted in February to take a stand against D.C’s plea to become the 51st state. From their committee room some 2,300 miles from the nation’s capital, members […]

Biden opens up eligibility for COVID-19 vaccines, as infections surge in some states

By: - April 7, 2021

WASHINGTON — Every adult in the U.S. will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine by April 19, President Joe Biden said Tuesday, praising governors for lifting restrictions on vaccine eligibility earlier than his original May 1 deadline. Ohio made vaccines available to all those 16 and older on April 1. Biden’s remarks came as states […]

CDC: If you’re fully vaccinated, you can travel in the U.S. without tests or quarantines

By: - April 5, 2021

WASHINGTON — Fully vaccinated individuals can travel at low risk to themselves, and do not need to get a COVID-19 test or quarantine after traveling within the U.S., federal health officials said Friday as they unveiled updated travel guidelines. The new guidelines offer the first official guidance to Americans who are at least two weeks past […]

Special Report: Dozens of members of Congress are vaccinated against COVID-19, but some still hesitate

By: and - March 31, 2021

WASHINGTON — Members of Congress were among the first people in the U.S. to have access to the sought-after COVID-19 vaccine when the initial doses became available in December. Three months later, a States Newsroom survey across 22 states — making up a large swath of Congress — found at least 155 members of the U.S. House […]

Biden slams ‘un-American’ GOP drive to curb voting rights in the states

By: - March 26, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Thursday in his first formal news conference since taking office blasted Republican-controlled state legislatures that are seeking to restrict voting access, labeling those attempts “sick” and “un-American.” Biden specifically referenced proposals like those working their way through Georgia’s state Capitol, where a final vote loomed on a GOP-drafted bill that would […]