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 Oregon Capital Chronicle. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections, and campaign finance.

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At-home COVID tests to be covered by insurance—but details still to come

By: - December 3, 2021

WASHINGTON — State health officials on Thursday welcomed the Biden administration’s plan to require private health insurers to reimburse Americans for the cost of rapid, at-home COVID-19 tests – though the officials also raised questions about whether the process will be burdensome. Making those tests more accessible will allow Americans to get results quickly and […]

Vaccine mandate for health care workers halted nationwide by Louisiana judge

By: - December 1, 2021

WASHINGTON—A federal judge in Louisiana on Tuesday issued a ruling blocking nationwide the Biden administration mandate requiring millions of health care workers be vaccinated against Covid-19. A suit challenging the mandate was led on behalf of multiple states by Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, a Republican, and U.S. Judge Terry Doughty granted the states’ request […]

Federal vaccine mandate for health care workers in 10 states blocked by judge

By: - November 30, 2021

WASHINGTON — Enforcement of the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for millions of health care workers was blocked in 10 states on Monday, after a ruling by a federal judge in Missouri. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Matthew Schelp affects the states involved in the lawsuit, which include Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, and New Hampshire. The […]

In D.C.: How paid leave, a tax cut for the rich and more could get axed from Biden’s bill

By: and - November 24, 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 […]

In D.C.: 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 […]

Electric vehicle charging

In D.C.: White House touts clean energy, transit, rail projects in sprawling infrastructure bill

By: and - November 10, 2021

WASHINGTON—Federal officials on Tuesday offered details about how money from the recently passed bipartisan infrastructure bill would be spent, emphasizing the pending law’s potential to add clean energy capacity. Department of Transportation officials highlighted the $1.2 trillion bill’s record funding for public transit like buses and subways, as well as for Amtrak. They framed the […]

In D.C.: 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 […]

IN D.C.: FDA panel recommends Pfizer 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 […]

In D.C.: FDA panel recommends booster shot of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine

By: - October 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — Millions of Americans who received Moderna’s two-shot Covid-19 vaccine are expected to be eligible soon for booster shots, after a federal advisory panel on Thursday recommended a third dose for older and higher-risk adults as well as certain workers. The unanimous recommendation from the Food and Drug Administration vaccine panel came a few […]