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.

Claire Mengel of Ohio testifies at congressional hearing

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 […]

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

By: - May 12, 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 […]

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

By: - April 19, 2022

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 was assassinated. In the last nine months, hundreds of books across dozens of states are being banned. A majority of the […]

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

By: - April 15, 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 […]

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

By: - April 11, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden Monday unveiled the Department of Justice’s plan to regulate untraceable firearms known as ghost guns, as well as 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 […]

Image of banned books

More than 1,500 books have been banned in public schools, and a U.S. House panel asks why

By: - April 8, 2022

WASHINGTON — A U.S. House Oversight and Reform Committee panel on Thursday examined why thousands of books, predominantly written by marginalized authors, have been banned from public schools, and the impact of those actions on students and teachers. “Most books being targeted for censorship are books that introduce ideas about diversity or our common humanity, […]

Students in caps and gowns at graduation

Pause on federal student loan repayments extended by Biden through Aug. 31

By: - April 6, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration Wednesday announced its plans to extend the pause on federal student loan repayments until the end of August. “I recognized in recently extending the COVID-19 national emergency, we are still recovering from the pandemic and the unprecedented economic disruption it caused,” President Joe Biden said in a statement.  “If loan […]

Biden administration to halt pandemic policy blocking migrants who claim asylum

By: - April 4, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday the government will terminate a Trump-era policy that prevented migrants from claiming asylum during a health crisis, including the coronavirus pandemic. The policy will end on May 23, the CDC wrote in its notice. “There is no longer a serious danger that the entry […]

Biden signs law named for Emmett Till that makes lynching a federal hate crime

By: - March 30, 2022

WASHINGTON — Nearly 70 years after 14-year-old Emmett Till was kidnapped and murdered in Mississippi by two White men, President Joe Biden signed into law on Tuesday a bill to make lynching a federal hate crime. “Lynching was pure terror to enforce the lie that not everyone belongs in America,” Biden said at  the Rose […]

Biden lays out a ‘fund the police’ budget plan

By: - March 28, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is requesting billions in its fiscal 2023 budget from Congress to fund police departments, despite progressive Democrats’ calls for some of that spending to be reallocated to social services. President Joe Biden’s budget request to Congress unveiled Monday asks for $30 billion for state and local governments to add more […]

New process for asylum cases at the border unveiled by Biden administration

By: - March 25, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration announced Thursday steps to expedite asylum cases at the U.S.-Mexico border in an attempt to resolve a years-long backlog, but policy advocates worry the streamlined process could prevent asylum seekers from obtaining legal representation if their cases are denied. “If somebody is not approved in the first instance, they’re going […]

GOP senators attack and interrupt in final day of questioning U.S. Supreme Court nominee

By: - March 24, 2022

WASHINGTON — In the third day of hearings Wednesday on the nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court, several Republicans on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee interrogated her about sentences she handed down for child pornography offenses, disagreeing vehemently with her judicial decisions. Republicans grilled her with questions she had already answered about […]