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.

Piggy bank

How the new, expanded federal child tax credit will work

By: - July 9, 2021

WASHINGTON – The most ambitious part of the pandemic stimulus package signed by President Joe Biden earlier this year is about to hit the bank accounts of millions of U.S. parents. Starting next week and ending in December, the vast majority of U.S. households with children will begin receiving monthly payments as a result of […]

Kids sit at desks in a classroom

CDC study finds racial, regional disparities as schools reopened for in-person learning

By: - July 5, 2021

WASHINGTON – After last year’s abrupt shutdown of schools due to the coronavirus pandemic, increasing numbers of students returned to in-person learning. But a new study shows that racial and geographic gaps persisted as K-12 students went back to their classrooms – with non-Hispanic white kids more often the ones attending a brick-and-mortar school full-time […]

An eviction notice on a wooden table

Biden administration extends federal eviction moratorium for one final month

By: - June 24, 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 […]

An empty classroom

Cyberattack on New Hampshire school district illustrates growing threat to states and localities

By: - June 18, 2021

WASHINGTON — In October 2019, officials at a small western New Hampshire school district suddenly realized they had a problem on their hands.  The Sunapee School District’s servers, documents and other internal information systems had been locked down by an outside entity demanding a ransom payment.  A cyberattack, like the Colonial Pipeline one that spurred […]

Joe Biden

‘Get a shot and have a beer’: Biden touts vaccination incentives

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 the […]

NH Department of Transportation trucks

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 […]

A person receives a vaccine

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

By: - May 12, 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 […]

American flag planted in a pile of money

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 […]

A person gets a vaccine

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 […]

Cori Bush testifies

‘Every day, Black women die because the system denies our humanity’

By: - May 7, 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 […]

President Biden receives a second dose of the vaccine

States with higher vaccine demand will be able to request more from federal government

By: - May 4, 2021

WASHINGTON — With demand for COVID-19 vaccines dropping in many states, the federal government is changing how those doses are allocated. Under the new policy, any doses that a state doesn’t request from its weekly, population-based allotment will be held in a general pool, and states with higher demand can request additional shots from that surplus.  […]

Capitol dome

Six states gain seats in U.S. House

By: - April 26, 2021

WASHINGTON — After months of delays, the U.S. Census Bureau on Monday gave states part of the critical data needed to redraw their U.S. House boundaries: an updated tally of how many people live within their borders, and the number of House districts that each state will have for the next decade.  For six states, the […]