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 Minnesota Reformer. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections, and campaign finance.

How paid leave, a tax cut for the rich and more could get axed from Biden’s social policy bill

By: and - November 23, 2021

WASHINGTON — Congressional Democrats cheered on the floor of the U.S. House after approving President Joe Biden’s massive social spending and climate bill. But a major struggle lies ahead in the coming month in the U.S. Senate, where Democrats cannot lose any votes within their party if they are to send the so-called Build Back Better […]

States forge ahead with COVID-19 booster shots for all adults

By: - November 17, 2021

WASHINGTON — Federal health officials are expected as soon as Friday to expand access to COVID-19 booster shots to all American adults. Even if they don’t, Minnesota health officials plan to move forward this week with encouraging all adults to receive a booster shot. Some states have already given the to green light to all […]

Biden signs $1.2T infrastructure bill: ‘America is moving again’

By: , and - November 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Monday signed into law his $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill during a ceremony at the White House packed with some 800 supporters, heralding what he said was a “truly consequential” spending bill that will improve Americans’ day-to-day lives. But Democrats also emphasized that there is more to come—a $1.85 trillion […]

States, cities face deadline for proving how quickly they’ve helped renters in crisis

By: - November 13, 2021

WASHINGTON — States, cities and counties that excelled at distributing emergency federal aid to renters struggling during the pandemic may soon be rewarded—with yet more cash. Their new funding would be drawn from sluggish states and localities that didn’t move as swiftly to help people facing eviction and homelessness, who were targeted for billions in assistance […]

vaccine card

Federal vaccine rule for private businesses to kick in on Jan. 4

By: - November 4, 2021

WASHINGTON — Many private employers beginning in January will have to ensure their workers either are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or that they will undergo weekly testing and wear a face covering, under a new federal rule announced Thursday by the White House. The policy from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is set to […]

COVID-19 vaccines for kids 5 to 11 get final endorsement by CDC

By: - November 3, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has signed off on giving Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to all kids ages 5 to 11, a final decision that means those children can begin receiving shots as soon as Wednesday. Vials of the pediatric version of the vaccine have already been shipped to states, so they are […]

What’s in — and out — of Biden’s $1.75 trillion social spending and climate bill

By: and - October 28, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden’s sprawling social spending and climate package has been slimmed down into a still-massive $1.75 trillion plan that he and top congressional Democrats are attempting to wrestle through after months of negotiations. Snipped from that proposal are a number of key priorities for Democrats, including an attempt to create the first […]

FDA panel recommends OK for Pfizer’s vaccine for kids 5 to 11

By: - October 26, 2021

WASHINGTON — A federal vaccine advisory panel on Tuesday recommended authorizing Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11, a decision that means as soon as next week everyone in the U.S. over age 5 is expected to be eligible for a shot. The vote by the Food & Drug Administration panel, with 17 […]

COVID-19 vaccines for kids ages 5 to 11 could be ready as soon as next week

By: - October 25, 2021

WASHINGTON — The next wave of the massive COVID-19 vaccination campaign could begin as soon as next week, after federal regulators decide if elementary school students across the U.S. should begin rolling up their tiny sleeves. That multistep approval process kicks off Tuesday, when the Food & Drug Administration’s panel of vaccine experts will vote on […]

COVID-19 boosters from Moderna, J&J OK’d along with ‘mix and match’ shots

By: - October 22, 2021

WASHINGTON — Tens of millions of additional Americans are now eligible to receive a booster dose of one of the COVID-19 vaccines, after federal health officials gave the green light late Thursday to follow-up doses of the shots made by Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.  Anyone who received the one-shot J&J vaccine is now eligible for […]

Feds OK ‘mix-and-match’ approach for COVID-19 booster shots

By: - October 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given a green light to Americans who want to receive a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by a different company than the one that produced the initial shot they received. The announcement Wednesday on allowing “mix-and-match” shots from different manufacturers will give more flexibility to […]

Kids age 5 to 11 next in line for COVID-19 vaccines as White House rolls out plans

By: - October 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — Smaller needles. Redesigned shipments to ease the storage needs in pediatricians’ offices. And enough vials of the COVID-19 vaccine to inoculate the 28 million U.S. children between ages 5 and 11. Those are among the plans announced by the White House on Wednesday as federal and state officials prepare for a regulatory decision […]