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 Arizona Mirror. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections, and campaign finance.

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.

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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.

Earmarks in U.S. House infrastructure bill tops $5.7B, including $92M for Arizona

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.

Arizona among 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. 

‘Get a shot and have a beer’: Biden touts free brew, pro sports tickets and child care to boost vaccines

By: - June 2, 2021

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.

Senate GOP filibuster blocks commission to probe U.S. Capitol attack

By: - May 28, 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.

Electric buses, asphalt and bridges: Politicians jostle for federal transportation cash

By: and - May 21, 2021

WASHINGTON — The nearly $1 billion that U.S. Rep. Garret Graves is seeking through Congress’ revamped earmarks process isn’t a typo. 

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 […]

FDA green lights Pfizer vaccine for kids 12-15, with CDC still to act

By: - May 11, 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 […]

Arizona cities, counties can begin accessing federal COVID relief funds

By: - May 10, 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 […]

States with higher COVID vaccine demand will be able to request more from the feds

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.

Biden calls for sweeping ‘once-in-a-generation investment’ to reshape the nation

By: - April 29, 2021

WASHINGTON — Standing in the same U.S. House chamber where a violent mob temporarily disrupted the certification of his victory, President Joe Biden on Wednesday heralded the country as “on the move again” as he sketched out his expansive vision for a post-pandemic America.