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.

Census data kicks off partisan brawl in statehouses over U.S. House seats

By: - April 28, 2021

States key to Biden’s victory, such as Pennsylvania and Michigan, are set to lose congressional districts, while Colorado, which also backed Biden, will pick up another seat.

No mask needed outdoors if you’re vaccinated, except among crowds, CDC says

By: - April 27, 2021

WASHINGTON — Fully vaccinated Americans do not need to wear a mask outdoors except in crowded settings, federal health officials said Tuesday as they updated recommendations for how vaccinated individuals can safely resume normal activities. Those who are at least two weeks past receiving their final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine can safely be unmasked at small […]

Federal health regulators urge states to restart use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine

By: - April 24, 2021

The advisory panel’s 10-4 decision comes as the U.S. is facing new challenges in the vaccination effort.

U.S. House passes D.C. statehood bill, but votes still lacking in Senate

By: - April 22, 2021

“We look forward to a swift vote in the Senate on this essential legislation,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said ahead of Thursday’s 216-208 vote.

Biden calls for paid time off for vaccinations as U.S. hits 200 million goal

By: - April 21, 2021

“No working American should lose a single dollar from their paycheck because they chose to fulfill their patriotic duty of getting vaccinated,” Biden said. 

Pa. gets C-minus for infrastructure as Biden makes his pitch to the states

By: - April 13, 2021

In Pennsylvania there are 3,353 bridges and over 7,540 miles of highway in poor condition, the White House said as it released state-by-state fact sheets.

Biden pitches big boosts in education and health spending in budget request

By: - April 9, 2021

The president’s $1.5 trillion request seeks to spend $769 billion on discretionary programs not related to defense — a 16% increase over the current fiscal year. The proposal is in sharp contrast to Trump administration budget requests during the past four years that sought to scale back the size of most domestic programs.

Special Report: Dozens of members of Congress are vaccinated against COVID-19, but some still hesitate; How Pa. did

By: and - March 30, 2021

a States Newsroom survey across 22 states—making up a large swath of Congress— found at least 155 members of the U.S. House and Senate have been vaccinated, based on a tally of responses from their offices and other public statements

Biden slams ‘un-American’ GOP drive to curb voting rights in the states

By: - March 25, 2021

Biden said he would work on educating the American public about the proposals being shepherded through state legislatures, including Pennsylvania, saying the Republicans he knows “find this despicable.”

Pa.’s Levine wins Senate confirmation to No. 2 job at Health & Human Services; Casey, Toomey split on vote

By: - March 24, 2021

The Senate voted 52-48 to confirm her as an assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services. Two Republicans, Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, joined Democrats in supporting her nomination.

Collapsing union pension plans win long-sought help from rescue package; How Pa. benefits

By: - March 23, 2021

The $1.9 trillion pandemic relief measure included $86 billion that will be used for grants to help shore up the most troubled of those pension funds, covering the cost of retiree benefits for the next 30 years.

With Senate panel’s action, Pa.’s Levine moves a step closer to becoming highest-ranking transgender person in U.S. gov’t

By: - March 17, 2021

During her confirmation hearing last month, Levine faced a tirade from Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., about gender-affirmation surgery for minors.