Archives by: Laura Olson

Laura Olson

About the author

Laura Olson covers the nation’s capital as a senior reporter for States Newsroom. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections, and campaign finance.
[email protected]ewsroom.com

Laura Olson's articles and posts

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DC update: Senate leader calls for legal weed, Biden pushes infrastructure package

WASHINGTON — The top Democrat in the U.S. Senate says decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level is a change that’s “long overdue,” and that he’s prioritizing that effort amid a growing number of states legalizing cannabis. To that end, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Wednesday unveiled a draft proposal for removing cannabis from the federal Controlled Substances Act...

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Education News Top Story

How the new, expanded federal child tax credit will work

WASHINGTON — The most ambitious part of the pandemic stimulus package signed by President Joe Biden earlier this year is about to hit the bank accounts of millions of U.S. parents. Starting this week and ending in December, the vast majority of U.S. households with children will begin receiving monthly payments as a result of changes in that law expanding and reworking the federal child tax credit.

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Higher Ed News Top Story

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

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. The NCAA currently prohibits student-athletes to profit off their name or image — a practice that’s commonplace in professional sports.

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Law enforcement officials urge congressional action against rising numbers of ‘ghost guns’

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 agencies.

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Heartbreaking stories of Black maternal deaths, pregnancy complications, racism related at congressional hearing

WASHINGTON — When U.S. Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri was pregnant with her first child, Zion, she saw a sign in her doctor’s office encouraging her to speak up about anything unusual she was feeling. She did so, telling her physician that she was having severe pains, but her concerns were swiftly dismissed. The doctor told Bush, who is African American, that she was fine and sent her home — and one week later, Bush went into early labor.

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News Top Story

The 2020 census: North Carolina, Florida, Colorado, Montana among states gaining U.S. House seats

WASHINGTON — After months of delays, the U.S. Census Bureau on Monday started to distribute data that will be 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. 

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COVID-19 Higher Ed News Top Story

Pushback against ‘vaccine passports’ puts colleges in a quandary

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.

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News Top Story

Quest for D.C. statehood finds new friends and foes: Other states

WASHINGTON — Congress had yet to even schedule a hearing on a measure granting statehood to the District of Columbia when a panel of state lawmakers in Arizona voted in February to take a stand against D.C’s plea to become the 51st state.

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COVID-19 News Top Story

Congress clears giant $1.9T emergency relief package for Biden’s signature

Nearly $9 billion in direct aid headed for North Carolina WASHINGTON — A sweeping $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package is headed to President Joe Biden’s desk after the U.S. House passed the latest pandemic relief measure Wednesday on a party-line vote.

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COVID-19 News Top Story

GOP says ‘no’ to state and local aid as Senate heads toward vote on COVID bill

WASHINGTON — As Democrats seek to send President Joe Biden their latest $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill, federal lawmakers remain deeply divided on the question of whether state and local governments need another infusion of federal aid. Supporters of the bill — including numerous Republican mayors — say the answer is a clear “yes.”

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