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.

Missouri’s Robin Carnahan vows to modernize government IT systems as agency chief

By: - June 14, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden’s pick to lead the General Services Administration, former Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, told senators Thursday that she was “horrified” by the slow pace of federal pandemic relief. While Congress responded to the crisis with new programs and resources, in too many instances, that help was not fast enough in […]

Troubled Maryland plant told to toss part of the J&J vaccine ingredient it manufactured

By: - June 14, 2021

WASHINGTON — Federal health regulators have instructed Maryland’s Emergent BioSolutions to scrap some batches of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine substance manufactured at the company’s troubled Baltimore plant, while clearing a small portion to be used in the U.S. or sent abroad. Two batches of the J&J vaccine substance made in Baltimore were deemed “suitable […]

U.S. Senate panel grapples with fast-approaching state laws on rights of student athletes

By: - June 11, 2021

WASHINGTON — There was little disagreement among senators Wednesday over whether a national law is needed to standardize what soon will be a patchwork of conflicting state statutes allowing some student athletes to earn money from their personal brands. But the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation hearing shed little light on what a potential federal law […]

Earmarks list for states in U.S. House infrastructure bill tops $5.7B

By: - June 10, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Democrats’ highway funding bill is poised to include roughly three out of five transportation projects submitted by members, as legislators vie for their share of federal dollars through the resurrected congressional earmarks process. The 1,473 projects that made the cut were out of 2,383 that Democratic and Republican legislators requested for inclusion in […]

States poised to allow college athletes to profit off their name, image and likeness

By: - June 7, 2021

WASHINGTON — A seismic shift will rock college sports next month, when a handful of new state laws go into effect allowing student athletes to make money off their personal images. It’s been against the rules governing collegiate sports for student athletes to make a profit off their name or image — a practice that’s […]

‘Get a shot and have a beer’: Biden touts free brew, pro sports tickets and child care to boost vaccines

By: - June 3, 2021

WASHINGTON — Free child care during COVID-19 vaccine appointments. Late-night appointment slots on Fridays. And free beer for everybody over 21 if President Joe Biden’s vaccination goal is reached next month. These are some of the latest incentives and strategies lined up by the Biden administration to boost national vaccinations against COVID-19 leading up to the […]

Senate GOP filibuster blocks commission to probe U.S. Capitol attack

By: - May 28, 2021

WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans on Friday blocked consideration of a bill creating a bipartisan, independent commission to investigate what happened leading up to and during the Jan. 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol. Legislation to form an investigatory panel into that attack passed the House of Representatives earlier this month, with 35 House Republicans joining […]

Biden urges Congress to act on policing reform after meeting with George Floyd family

By: - May 26, 2021

WASHINGTON — A year after George Floyd’s killing by a Minneapolis police officer, his family returned Tuesday to Washington, D.C., where lawmakers have been attempting to craft a bipartisan bill to overhaul the nation’s policing laws. Congress failed to act by the anniversary of Floyd’s death — the deadline that President Joe Biden had urged lawmakers […]

Biden allocates $1B to prepare for hurricane, wildfire season

By: - May 25, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is doubling the amount of federal funding to help states prepare for natural disasters like hurricanes and wildfires, he announced Monday. His administration is directing $1 billion to the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities program, which sends resources to communities, states, and tribal governments to prepare for extreme weather events. […]

Not one usable vaccine so far out of Baltimore plant with multi-million-dollar federal contract

By: - May 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — Angry U.S. House Democrats on Wednesday had one key question as they grilled executives of a Maryland biotech manufacturer forced to dump 15 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine: Has there been one usable vaccine dose produced as a result of the $271 million paid to date by the U.S. government? […]

CDC: You can ditch the mask in most places, indoors and out, if fully vaccinated

By: - May 14, 2021

WASHINGTON — Americans fully vaccinated against COVID-19 do not need to wear a mask in most situations, indoors and outdoors, federal health officials said in an updated set of recommendations Thursday that marks a major turning point in the pandemic. The announcement is a shift from earlier federal guidance, which had urged people who are vaccinated to continue […]

CDC advisory panel signs off on Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for kids 12 to 15

By: - May 13, 2021

WASHINGTON — A federal advisory panel is recommending that Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine be administered to adolescents between 12 and 15 years old, making it the first shot available to those under 16. The green light granted Wednesday afternoon by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s vaccine advisory panel is expected to be affirmed swiftly by […]