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 Louisiana Illuminator. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections, and campaign finance.

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

By: - November 18, 2021

WASHINGTON — Federal health officials are expected as soon as Friday to expand access to COVID-19 booster shots to all American adults. But some states aren’t waiting for a green light from D.C. At least six states already have opened up eligibility for the boosters from Pfizer and Moderna beyond the categories specified by federal […]

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 15, 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

If CDC signs off, COVID-19 shots for kids to begin later this week

By: - November 2, 2021

WASHINGTON — Within minutes of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s announcement Friday giving the green light to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for kids aged 5 to 11, a massive logistics operation launched to prepare for the final regulatory step. Some 15 million doses of the vaccine began to move from Pfizer’s freezers to distribution centers, […]

Shipments of COVID-19 shots for kids 5-11 on the way to states after FDA gives green light

By: - November 1, 2021

WASHINGTON — Vials of the two-shot Pfizer vaccine will soon be headed to pediatricians’ offices, hospitals, pharmacies and other providers, after regulators at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday granted emergency authorization to the pharmaceutical company’s COVID-19 vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds. But first, the vaccine needs the approval of the Centers for Disease […]

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

By: and - October 29, 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 27, 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 26, 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: and - October 22, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Moderna booster shot for the COVID-19 vaccine is now available to adults in Louisiana, the Louisiana Health Department announced Friday, after federal health officials gave the green light Thursday 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 a […]