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.

An ‘unprecedented flood’ of book bans engulfs U.S. school districts, PEN report says

By: - September 20, 2022

WASHINGTON — More than 1,600 book titles across 32 states were banned from public schools during the 2021-2022 school year, with the bulk of the ban requests coming from a handful of right-wing groups pushing for censorship of books that feature LGBTQ+ characters and characters of color, a new report issued Monday said. “What I […]

Jewish congregations mount legal challenges to state abortion bans

By: - August 26, 2022

WASHINGTON — Thousands of years of Jewish scripture make it clear that access to abortion care is a requirement of Jewish law and practice, according to Rabbi Karen Bogard. “We preserve life at all costs,” she said in an interview with States Newsroom. “But there is a difference between that which is living, and that […]

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Nevadans react to Biden’s student loan forgiveness

By: and - August 25, 2022

Around 330,000 Nevadans are saddled with more than $11 billion in student debt.  After President Joe Biden announced Wednesday he will cancel up to $20,000 in federal student debt for Pell Grant borrowers and up to $10,000 for individuals earning less than $125,000 a year, or $250,000 as a household, some who have dealt with […]

Senate passes major health, tax and climate bill in boost for Democrats

By: and - August 7, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate, along party lines, passed a significant energy, health care, climate and tax package Sunday afternoon, following an overnight marathon of votes that resulted in just a handful of notable changes to the legislation. The 755-page bill was passed after Vice President Kamala Harris broke a 50-50 tie in the evenly divided Senate. […]

Federal officials declare a public health emergency for monkeypox

By: - August 4, 2022

WASHINGTON —  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra announced Thursday a public health emergency for the monkeypox virus, which means the federal government can more quickly assist states with distributing vaccines and conducting testing and public health campaigns. “We’re prepared to take our response to the next level in addressing this virus, […]

Senate panel works over bill to assure peaceful transfers of power

By: - August 4, 2022

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers and legal experts at a U.S. Senate hearing on Wednesday outlined the need to pass legislation clarifying an archaic election law so that the peaceful transfer of presidential power is ensured. The Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act, a bipartisan bill being pushed by 16 senators, was proposed after the […]

Biden tests positive for COVID-19

By: and - July 21, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden has tested positive for COVID-19 and is experiencing mild symptoms, the White House announced Thursday morning. Biden, 79, is fully vaccinated against the virus and has twice received booster doses, according to the statement. He is taking Paxlovid, an antiviral prescription medication that is meant to reduce the severity of […]

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Group of House Democrats renew call to expand the Supreme Court

By: - July 18, 2022

WASHINGTON — A group of U.S. House Democrats Monday called for the passage of legislation that would add four justices to the Supreme Court, following the overturning of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that provided the constitutional right to abortion. “It’s an ultra-right-wing Republican Supreme Court,” Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia said during a press conference […]

Pregnant patients without access to abortion face a ‘death sentence,’ U.S. House panel told

By: - July 14, 2022

WASHINGTON — Witnesses told a U.S. House committee on Wednesday that pregnant patients who can’t obtain abortions will face higher mortality rates if they are forced to carry their pregnancies to term. “It is essentially a death sentence,” Michele Bratcher Goodwin, the chancellor’s professor of law at the University of California, told lawmakers. Democratic state […]

Biden says he supports filibuster exception for abortion rights legislation

By: - June 30, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Thursday said he supports an exception to the U.S. Senate filibuster in order to enshrine Roe v. Wade in federal law, after the Supreme Court last week struck down the case that established abortion as a constitutional right. “I believe we have to codify Roe v. Wade in the law, and […]

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U.S. House members warned about disinformation in upcoming campaigns

By: - June 27, 2022

WASHINGTON — Experts on election security warned lawmakers during a U.S. House Administration hearing last week of targeted disinformation campaigns that could occur in the upcoming midterm and presidential elections. The panel of witnesses also stressed to members of the subcommittee on elections the dangers of conspiracy groups and their reach in sowing disinformation about […]

U.S. Senate moves forward on gun safety legislation

By: - June 22, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Senate is poised to pass a bipartisan bill later this week that could become the first notable federal gun safety legislation in years, including billions in new mental health funding. Senators on a procedural vote late Tuesday agreed 64-34 to start debate on the gun control bill, which would also have to be passed by […]