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.

Long lines during Georgia's June 9 primary were in part attributed to experienced older poll workers backing out due to coronavirus worries. But the state has also closed 214 polling places since 2012. John McCosh/Georgia Recorder

U.S. Department of Justice takes Georgia to court over its elections law

By: - June 25, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Friday that the Department of Justice is suing the state of Georgia to overturn a sweeping elections law passed in March, with a legal challenge that alleges the new statute violates the federal Voting Rights Act. The federal lawsuit is the latest in a series of challenges […]

Man being evicted from his home or apartment with all the property tossed outside

Biden administration extends federal eviction moratorium for one final month

By: - June 25, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration on Thursday extended a national moratorium on evictions for another month, offering what federal officials say will be a final respite while they scramble to beef up other help for renters that could mitigate a wave of evictions once the legal protection does expire. The added month of eviction relief comes […]

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 24: President Joe Biden joined by from left to right, Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), Sen Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), speaks after the bipartisan group of Senators reached a deal on an infrastructure package at the White House on June 24. Biden said both sides made compromises on the nearly $1 trillion infrastructure bill. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Biden and bipartisan senators clinch a deal on $1.2T infrastructure plan

By: - June 24, 2021

WASHINGTON — The White House and a bipartisan group of U.S. senators said Thursday they’ve struck a deal on the outlines of a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package, marking a breakthrough on federal dollars for road and bridge projects after weeks of negotiations — but with significant hurdles still ahead. President Joe Biden stood with the […]

In his previous position as state senator, Glenn Grothman scolds protesters. CC BY 2.0

Glenn Grothman tries to ban ‘critical race theory’ in District of Columbia schools

By: - June 18, 2021

WASHINGTON — A Republican member of the U.S. House from Wisconsin wants to restrict how District of Columbia public school teachers talk about racism and sexism, drafting a bill that’s the latest attack by the GOP against discussions of race and gender in U.S. schools.   The bill introduced this week by Rep. Glenn Grothman, titled […]

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 15: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) speaks at a news conference on the “Fire Fauci Act” on Capitol Hill on June 15, 2021 in Washington, DC. The bill, drafted by Rep. Greene, states that Dr. Anthony Fauci be removed from his position for allegedly deceiving the American people. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Marjorie Taylor Greene in new attack on Fauci demands his salary be stripped

By: - June 16, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia on Tuesday led a group of House Republicans calling for the firing of Dr. Anthony Fauci, formalizing their intense criticism of his public statements and actions throughout the coronavirus pandemic into legislation. Those GOP lawmakers can’t actually oust Fauci from his post as director of the National […]

Man pouring Concrete

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

By: - June 9, 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 […]

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 […]