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

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 and destroying […]

Congress explores creation of truth commission for U.S. Indian Boarding Schools

By: - May 13, 2022

WASHINGTON — Survivors of a U.S. policy that forced Indigenous children to attend boarding schools where they were abused, or went missing, detailed to lawmakers the need for Congress to establish a truth commission dedicated to unveiling the traumas Indigenous children experienced at the schools. Rep. Sharice Davids, D-Kan., sponsored the bill, H.R. 5444, which […]

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

By: - May 11, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. House lawmakers questioned several labor experts Wednesday before a House Education and Labor panel about how a new bill to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 would protect workers from wage theft. House Appropriations Chair Rosa DeLauro introduced the bill, H.R. 3712, known as the “Wage Theft Prevention and Wage Recovery Act […]

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 draft […]

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

By: - May 3, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said Tuesday that his administration “will be ready when any ruling is issued” on abortion rights, after the nation was rocked by the leak of a draft opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court that confirmed the court is planning to overturn access to abortion. “I believe that a woman’s right […]

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

By: - April 29, 2022

WASHINGTON — The EPA issued a fuel waiver Friday afternoon to allow for a heightened ethanol gasoline blend to be sold at service stations this summer, an attempt by the Biden administration to lower soaring fuel prices. In a letter to Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, EPA administrator Michael S. Regan wrote that the waiver will allow gas stations to sell […]

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

By: - April 28, 2022

WASHINGTON —  Democratic leaders in Congress critical of soaring gasoline prices 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. “Big oil has profited in this (and) has exploited the market,” House Speaker Nancy […]

U.S. House panel looks into disinformation targeted at communities of color

By: - April 28, 2022

WASHINGTON — Experts tracking disinformation efforts online detailed to lawmakers on a U.S. House Administration panel Thursday how communities of color are targets for those disinformation campaigns. Democrats on the Subcommittee on Elections expressed their concern about how communities of color are the subject of election and COVID-19 misinformation through various social media platforms such […]

Biden issues first pardons and sentencing commutations of his presidency

By: - April 26, 2022

WASHINGTON — 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. Of that list, three were pardons and 75 were commutations, which is a reduction in an individual’s prison sentence. They were the first pardons and commutations […]

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

By: - April 16, 2022

Students in one Pennsylvania school district are not allowed to read a biography of the first Black U.S. president, Barack Obama. In some Tennessee classrooms, a nonfiction comic book about the atrocities of the Holocaust is banned. And one school district in Wisconsin banned from libraries a picture book about a gay rights activist who […]

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

By: - April 11, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden unveiled Monday the Department of Justice’s plan to regulate untraceable firearms known as ghost guns, and also announced his nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The Department of Justice’s final rule bans the business of manufacturing ghost guns, such as “buy build shoot” kits that can […]

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

By: - April 9, 2022

WASHINGTON — Jon Zang walks his dog several times a day in his mobile home community in West Goshen Township, Pennsylvania. It’s quiet, as most of his neighbors are at work. But he often wonders how many more walks he and his bulldog mix, Ladybug, will have down the streets of the place he’s called […]