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.

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

By: - April 28, 2021

WASHINGTON — Standing in the same 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. Biden in his first address to a joint session of Congress touted quick […]

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

By: - April 28, 2021

WASHINGTON — The announcement of which states will lose and gain U.S. House districts in 2023 was the opening bell for the cutthroat, once-a-decade process of redrawing district boundaries. The results of the state-level fights now unfolding will shape not only the partisan makeup of each congressional delegation, but also help determine whether Democrats can […]

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 […]

Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Montana among states gaining U.S. House seats

By: - April 26, 2021

WASHINGTON — After months of delays, the U.S. Census Bureau on Monday gave states part of the critical data needed to redraw their U.S. House boundaries: an updated tally of how many people live within their borders, and the number of House districts that each state will have for the next decade.  For six states, the […]

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

By: - April 23, 2021

WASHINGTON — A federal advisory panel on Friday recommended that states return to using the COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson, but also hand out updated fact sheets that will warn about the rare blood clots in women that paused the vaccine’s use. Top U.S. health officials swiftly acted on the recommendation by the panel, […]

Senate panel advances former Wisconsin health leader for top HHS post, but Medicaid waiver dispute deadlocks CMS nominee

By: - April 23, 2021

WASHINGTON — Wisconsin’s Andrea Palm moved a step closer Thursday to becoming deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, after the Senate Finance Committee advanced her nomination to the full chamber. The panel approved Palm’s nomination on a 20-8 vote, with all Democrats and six Republicans in support. But the Finance Committee […]

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

By: - April 23, 2021

WASHINGTON — For the second time, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed a measure to make the District of Columbia the 51st state, sending the historic bill to the Senate on a party-line vote. “We look forward to a swift vote in the Senate on this essential legislation,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, (D-Calif.), said ahead […]

Florida’s Bill Nelson welcomed back to U.S. Senate as NASA nominee

By: - April 22, 2021

WASHINGTON — Former U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida returned to a familiar setting on Wednesday — the hearing room of the Senate panel that oversees space policy — where his former colleagues welcomed him back as President Joe Biden’s pick to serve as NASA administrator. Senators from both sides of the aisle praised Nelson as […]

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

By: - April 22, 2021

WASHINGTON — Federal and state officials now face trying to reach Americans unable or unwilling to get the COVID-19 vaccine, after meeting President Joe Biden’s goal of administering 200 million doses within his first 100 days in office. To aid in that push, Biden on Wednesday called on employers to give their workers time off […]

Restaurant chains slammed over resistance to minimum wage hike for tipped workers

By: - April 21, 2021

WASHINGTON — As the nation’s largest trade group for restaurant owners on Tuesday held a virtual version of its annual gathering to lobby Congress, advocates for a $15-per-hour minimum wage took aim at the powerful restaurant chains that they say are blocking legislation on a higher wage for tipped workers. During their own virtual event, lawmakers […]

CU Boulder student studying

Pushback against ‘vaccine passports’ puts colleges in a quandary

By: - April 19, 2021

WASHINGTON — Florida’s Nova Southeastern University joined a small group of U.S. colleges on April 1, when the private research university announced that it would require all students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before returning to campus this fall. In a message posted on the university’s website, NSU’s president and CEO, Dr. […]

Former Wisconsin health leader pledges ‘common ground’ agenda if confirmed for HHS post

By: - April 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — When Andrea Palm worked at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services during the Obama administration, she says there was a theme to the policy issues that ended up on her plate: ones that required bipartisan cooperation. The agency’s secretary at the time, Sylvia Burwell, had a nickname for Palm’s portfolio: the “common-ground […]