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 Georgia Recorder. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections, and campaign finance.

Biden administration vouches for COVID ‘surge response teams’

By: - July 8, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden’s key COVID-19 advisers on Thursday defended the administration’s strategies for boosting vaccinations in Georgia and other states, after Missouri’s governor said federal door-to-door outreach efforts are not welcome there. Top Biden adviser Jeff Zients said anyone mischaracterizing the administration’s attempts is “doing a disservice to the country.” Missouri Gov. Mike […]

CDC finds racial, regional disparities as schools reopened classrooms

By: - July 1, 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 in most states. […]

White House urges state, locals to boost eviction diversion programs

By: - June 30, 2021

WASHINGTON — With a national moratorium on evictions set to expire at the end of next month and delays in federal assistance for struggling renters, the Biden administration says it wants to help state and local officials aid Americans on the brink of eviction. To that end, the administration on Wednesday highlighted efforts in Michigan and Philadelphia to […]

U.S. House votes to give bum’s rush to statue of Georgia’s Confederate VP

By: - June 30, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House voted Tuesday to remove a statue of former Georgia governor Alexander Hamilton Stephens from Statuary Hall at the Capitol, as well as evict stone monuments to other men who fought for the Confederacy or served in its government. Also flagged for removal is a bust of 19th century Supreme Court […]

Supreme Court affirms transgender rights, declines school bathroom case

By: - June 28, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court said Monday that it will not hear a case of a transgender student in Virginia who was barred from using the boys’ bathroom, a decision that affirms lower-court rulings that said treating transgender students differently violates federal law. Justices on the top court offered no comment in declining to take […]

U.S. Justice Dept. suit says new Georgia voting law rules violate rights

By: and - June 25, 2021

This story was updated June 25th at 5:27 p.m. 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 […]

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 10 senators […]

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

By: - June 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Rome 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 […]

U.S. Senate panel tackles pending state laws on college athletes’ rights

By: - June 9, 2021

WASHINGTON — There was little disagreement among senators Wednesday over whether a national law is needed to standardize what soon will be a patchwork of conflicting state statutes allowing some student athletes to earn money from their personal brands. But the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation hearing shed little light on what a potential federal law […]

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

By: - June 8, 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 inclusion in […]

States poised to let college athletes profit off their name and likeness

By: - June 7, 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 […]

‘Get a shot and have a beer’: Biden touts free brew to boost vaccines

By: - June 3, 2021

WASHINGTON — Free child care during COVID-19 vaccine appointments. Late-night appointment slots on Fridays. And free beer for everybody 21 or older 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 […]