Author

Ariana Figueroa

Ariana Figueroa

Ariana covers the nation's capital for States Newsroom. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections and campaign finance.

Freedom of speech is under attack in public schools, U.S. House panel told

By: - May 19, 2022

WASHINGTON — Students and teachers told U.S. House members during a Thursday hearing that their right to talk about race and LGBTQ+ issues in public schools is being silenced due to an onslaught of new state laws as well as pressure on school boards from right-wing advocates. “To be crystal clear, this is about disrupting […]

a dollar and three coins

U.S. House panel weighs labor law amendment to protect workers from wage theft

By: - May 11, 2022

It would require employers to provide pay stubs to workers, establish new minimum and maximum civil penalties for employers who engage in wage theft and provide grants to organizations and institutions to enhance the enforcement of wage and hour laws. 

Protestors outside the U.S. Supreme Court

Overturning Roe would hand power over abortion to states. Many would ban it.

By: and - May 3, 2022

 A U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down a nearly 50-year-old right to abortion would lead to strict restrictions or bans by states across nearly half the country almost immediately. The court is poised to overturn the landmark 1973 case Roe v. Wade, as well as a subsequent ruling on fetal viability, according to an initial […]

Protestors outside the U.S. Supreme Court

Biden on leaked draft opinion on abortion: The ‘right to choose is fundamental’

By: - May 3, 2022

Biden did not specifically cite any steps his administration would take if the ruling is overturned, but said that it would “fall on our nation’s elected officials” to protect pregnant people’s access to abortion, and that voters should elect candidates who back abortion rights.

EPA issues waiver for sales of 15% ethanol blend during summer driving season

By: - April 29, 2022

EPA administrator Michael S. Regan wrote that the waiver will allow gas stations to sell the cheaper fuel blend with 15% ethanol in order “to address extreme and unusual fuel supply circumstances caused by the war in Ukraine that are affecting all regions of the Nation.”

High fuel prices won’t bring jobs to Louisiana because companies won’t drill, expert says

Democratic leaders in Congress want more power for regulators over high gasoline prices

By: - April 28, 2022

They say they will push legislation to allow the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general to go after oil companies that engage in price gouging in times of crisis. 

Air Force jet emblem

Health risks for families in military private housing probed by U.S. Senate panel

By: - April 26, 2022

A report detailed that staff “frequently ignored or delayed responding to urgent requests from military families to address conditions such as mold and roof leaks that threatened the families’ health and safety.”

prison corridor

Biden issues first pardons and sentencing commutations of his presidency

By: - April 26, 2022

President Joe Biden on Tuesday granted clemency to nearly 80 individuals charged with nonviolent crimes and unveiled an administration strategy to help formerly incarcerated people secure employment.

Girl looking at a book in a library

LGBTQ community, people of color in the crosshairs of banned book movement

By: - April 16, 2022

In the past nine months, hundreds of books across dozens of states are being banned at an alarming rate. A majority of the bans feature books written by authors who are people of color, LGBTQ+, Black and Indigenous, and feature characters from marginalized groups.

handgun and bullet

DOJ rule cracks down untraceable firearms known as ‘ghost guns’

By: - April 12, 2022

Ghost guns are homemade guns that lack a serial number, making it difficult for law enforcement to trace the owner of the weapon if it’s found at a crime scene.

Mobile home park in Sarasota, Florida

‘Sitting on a time bomb’: Mobile home residents at risk in red-hot housing market

By: - April 9, 2022

Mobile home parks provide affordable housing for millions of low-income residents. But in an exploding housing market, that land is increasingly in demand for other projects, or park owners propose major rent hikes or lease changes. Residents have few protections under a patchwork of state laws.

several stacks of books

Civil rights icon Ruby Bridges appears before committee looking into banned books

By: - April 7, 2022

Ruby Bridges, a civil rights icon who was the first Black child to desegregate an all-white New Orleans school, testified before the committee