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 Wisconsin Examiner. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections, and campaign finance.

Andrea Piacquadio via Pexels

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

By: - June 4, 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 commonplace […]

WILMINGTON, DELAWARE - JANUARY 11: President-elect Joe Biden receives the second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination from Chief Nurse Executive Ric Cuming at ChristianaCare Christiana Hospital. Biden received the second dose of the coronavirus vaccine three weeks after his first dose, received a few days before Christmas. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

‘Get a shot and have a beer’

By: - June 2, 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 […]

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: Protesters enter the Senate Chamber. Congress held a joint session to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. Pro-Trump protesters entered the U.S. Capitol building after mass demonstrations in the nation's capital. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Ron Johnson not swayed by fallen officer’s family, blocks commission to probe U.S. Capitol attack

By: - May 31, 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. The Senate vote was expected to occur on Thursday, but it was delayed when Sen. Ron Johnson, (R-Wis.), and other conservatives raised […]

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi meets with members of George Floyd's family on Tuesday (Screenshot | Laura Olson)

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

By: - May 25, 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 […]

crew of workers surrounded by equipment working on infrastructure construction roads

Electric buses, asphalt and bridges: Politicians jostle for federal transportation cash

By: and - May 24, 2021

WASHINGTON — The nearly $1 billion that U.S. Rep. Garret Graves is seeking through Congress’ revamped earmarks process isn’t a typo.  The Louisiana Republican says Baton Rouge desperately needs a new bridge to alleviate a crush of roadway congestion — at a cost of $955.2 million for several projects. That far exceeds the $20 million that […]

Woman in a U.S. flag mask on her face

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

By: - May 13, 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 […]

Teen boy getting a vaccine | Photo CDC

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 […]

Biden stands at a podium delivering remarks in front of a backdrop that reads: American Rescue Plan

More than $350B in federal recovery cash starts rolling out to states, cities, counties

By: - May 11, 2021

WASHINGTON — States, cities and counties can begin to tap their share of the $350 billion in federal funds intended to spur a national recovery from the economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic, White House officials announced Monday. The Biden administration said the much-anticipated money, which was included in the massive relief law enacted earlier this […]

Youth boy getting a vaccine looking at the shot.

FDA green lights Pfizer vaccine for kids 12-15, with CDC still to act

By: - May 10, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday signed off on expanding the use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to children ages 12 to 15, clearing one key hurdle before that age group can begin receiving the two-shot vaccine. But another step is needed before tweens and teens can line up for shots. The […]

Andrea Palm | Biden administration

Wisconsin’s Andrea Palm poised for confirmation for No. 2 federal health post

By: - May 10, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate is poised to confirm Wisconsin’s Andrea Palm, who previously served as the top health official in that state, to become deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  Palm, who most recently served as Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services secretary-designee, cleared a procedural vote Monday, 62-35, with […]

Black mother and child

Heartbreaking stories of Black maternal deaths, pregnancy complications, racism related at hearing

By: - May 9, 2021

WASHINGTON — When U.S. Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri was pregnant with her first child, Zion, she saw a sign in her doctor’s office encouraging her to speak up about anything unusual she was feeling. She did so, telling her physician that she was having severe pains, but her concerns were swiftly dismissed. The doctor […]

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 28: U.S. President Joe Biden addresses a joint session of congress as Vice President Kamala Harris (L) and Speaker of the House U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (R) look on in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol April 28, 2021 in Washington, DC. On the eve of his 100th day in office, Biden spoke about his plan to revive America’s economy and health as it continues to recover from a devastating pandemic. He delivered his speech before 200 invited lawmakers and other government officials instead of the normal 1600 guests because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Biden calls for sweeping ‘once-in-a-generation investment’ to reshape the nation

By: - April 29, 2021

WASHINGTON — Standing in the same House chamber where a violent mob temporarily disrupted the certification of his victory, President Joe Biden on Wednesday heralded the country as “on the move again” as he sketched out his expansive vision for a post-pandemic America. Biden in his first address to a joint session of Congress touted quick […]