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 Colorado Newsline. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections, and campaign finance.

States poised to allow college athletes to profit off their name, image and likeness

By: - June 5, 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, pro sports tickets and child care to boost vaccines

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 […]

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. Legislation to form an investigatory panel into that attack passed the House of Representatives earlier this month, with 35 House Republicans joining […]

Biden allocates $1B to prepare for hurricane, wildfire season

By: - May 25, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is doubling the amount of federal funding to help states prepare for natural disasters like hurricanes and wildfires, he announced Monday. His administration is directing $1 billion to the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities program, which sends resources to communities, states, and tribal governments to prepare for extreme weather events. […]

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 […]

Not one usable vaccine so far out of Baltimore plant with multi-million-dollar federal contract

By: - May 19, 2021

WASHINGTON — Angry U.S. House Democrats on Wednesday had one key question as they grilled executives of a Maryland biotech manufacturer forced to dump 15 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine: Has there been one usable vaccine dose produced as a result of the $271 million paid to date by the U.S. government? […]

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 […]

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

By: - May 13, 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 was affirmed swiftly by the agency’s […]

States offer gift cards, clinics at baseball games, worksite shots in push to increase vaccinations

By: - May 12, 2021

WASHINGTON — Maine officials are enticing residents to get a COVID-19 vaccine by offering free fishing or hunting licenses and L.L. Bean gift cards. Ohio has the National Guard taking shots to the lobbies of senior housing facilities, so those residents only need to come downstairs.  And in Minnesota, Gov. Tim Walz says that if […]

Law enforcement officials from Pennsylvania, Maryland urge action against rising numbers of ‘ghost guns’

By: - May 12, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden has promised a crackdown on so-called “ghost guns,” and during a U.S. Senate hearing Tuesday, law enforcement officials from Pennsylvania and Maryland described how an exponential increase in those firearms — which are easily assembled from kits and not subject to federal gun laws — has expanded the workload of their […]

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 […]

Wisconsin’s Andrea Palm poised for confirmation for No. 2 federal health post

By: - May 10, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate is poised to confirm Wisconsin’s Andrea Palm, who previously served as the top health official in that state, to become deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  Palm, who most recently served as Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services secretary-designee, cleared a procedural vote Monday, 62-35, with […]