Author

Laura Olson

Laura Olson

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

Trump allies’ lingering election probes spark public skepticism, concerns in Congress

By: - August 8, 2021

In Pennsylvania, two counties — Philadelphia and Tioga — have rejected the bid to seek election materials and equipment, and a third, York County, has raised concerns about potential ramifications. 

Feds order new eviction ban in counties with highest COVID-19 infection rates

By: and - August 3, 2021

Tuesday’s announcement from the CDC also followed intense public pressure by some progressive Democrats, including Missouri Rep. Cori Bush, who has camped out on the Capitol steps since Friday in protest of Congress not extending protections for vulnerable tenants.

House Dems struggle to extend federal eviction ban through mid-October

By: - July 30, 2021

A letter circulated by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office indicated that the chamber was working on support to extend eviction protections through Oct. 18, the date when the public health emergency declaration issued by the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services also expires.

Congress clears $521M to pay for National Guard costs tied to Jan. 6 attack

By: - July 30, 2021

The National Governors Association said as a result of Thursday’s votes, states will no longer be faced with tough financial decisions on canceling training sessions or deferring equipment maintenance.

CDC says the vaccinated should wear masks indoors in areas with high infection rates

By: - July 27, 2021

Some 39 states have infection rates that have reached 'substantial' or 'high' levels of transmission, according to the CDC

‘There was no concern for my life’: Families losing homes despite federal eviction moratorium

By: - July 27, 2021

Housing policy experts have warned that millions of Americans are still struggling to pay their rent, and that the end of that legal protection likely will lead to a surge in eviction filings across the country.

Federal data shows states still lag in getting aid to struggling renters. How is Pa. doing?

By: - July 22, 2021

Pa. ranked fifth nationally in the rental aid paid out in June, pushing out more than $45M

Schumer: Congress should legalize weed on the federal level

By: - July 14, 2021

The top Democrat in the U.S. Senate says decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level is a change that’s “long overdue,” and that he’s prioritizing that effort amid a growing number of states legalizing cannabis.

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

By: - July 6, 2021

The highest racial disparities were in Ohio and Pennsylvania, where on average, students of color were 21 percent and 23 percent less likely to have access to full-time, in-person learning. 

‘We all have to do better’: White House urges locals to boost eviction diversion programs

By: - July 1, 2021

Officials and advocates at Wednesday’s forum urged several policy reforms that they said can make a significant difference for renters and landlords.

Pa.’s U.S. House Republicans split on vote to remove statues of Confederate leaders, bust of Dred Scott author

By: - June 30, 2021

The effort is the latest move by congressional Democrats to undo Confederate symbols on Capitol Hill and other federal property.

Bridges, buses, bypasses, and more: All the Pa. projects included in U.S. House Dems’ $547B transportation bill

By: - June 9, 2021

U.S. Rep. Susan Wild, D-7th District, submitted four projects tallying exactly $20 million. All four of those proposals for road work and bridge replacements were selected.