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.

Biden to pardon all federal offenses for simple marijuana possession, review criminalization

By: , and - October 7, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Thursday announced executive actions that would pardon thousands of people with prior federal offenses of simple marijuana possession. Biden then called on governors to follow suit with state offenses for simple marijuana possession, saying that “just as no one should be in a Federal prison solely due to the […]

Alabama case that could limit Voting Rights Act heard at U.S. Supreme Court

By: - October 5, 2022

WASHINGTON – U.S. Supreme Court justices on Tuesday heard oral arguments in a case that challenges an Alabama redistricting map and could potentially eliminate remaining federal safeguards against racial gerrymandering. Voting rights advocates fear that the high court’s conservative majority will further weaken the Voting Rights Act, with implications for voters in states across the country. […]

Federal prisons ‘riddled with mismanagement’ probed by U.S. Senate panel

By: - October 4, 2022

WASHINGTON — Members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee grilled the top leader of federal prisons on how the agency would address staffing shortages and reports of abuse of incarcerated people.  “The Bureau (of Prisons) has been riddled with mismanagement and, sadly, with scandal,” said the chair of the committee, Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin. Durbin […]

Puerto Rico to get $60M to prep for future hurricanes, Biden announces

By: - October 4, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Monday landed in Ponce, Puerto Rico to survey the damage from Hurricane Fiona and announce $60 million in funding to help the island prepare for future hurricanes.  The visit came after the Category 1 hurricane in late September damaged the power grid, leaving millions in Puerto Rico without power. […]

Biden to battered Florida: ‘We’re going to do everything we can for you’

By: - September 30, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden addressed the nation Friday afternoon, focusing on uniting the country as Florida begins to survey the damage left by a Category 4 hurricane, while states further up the coast prepare for the impact from Hurricane Ian.   “As you all know, the situation in Florida is far more devastating,” Biden said. […]

Key U.S. Senate panel advances bill aimed at preventing another Jan. 6

By: - September 29, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate Rules and Administration Committee on Tuesday passed legislation that would update an 1887 elections law and clarify how electoral votes are certified, with the hopes of averting another attempt to overturn a presidential election.  Sens. Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat and Roy Blunt, a Missouri Republican, put forth the bill, […]

Faith leaders urge minimum wage hike, expanded child tax credit as Congress nears recess

By: - September 23, 2022

WASHINGTON — Faith leaders pressed Congress to pass voting rights legislation, a $15 minimum wage and a permanent expansion of the child tax credit during a Thursday briefing on Capitol Hill. “Poverty is a policy choice,” Rev. Dr. William Barber, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, said to lawmakers. Barber, who is the pastor of […]

U.S. House passes bill reforming Electoral Count Act to stop Jan. 6 repeat

By: - September 22, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House passed on Wednesday a bill updating a 19th-century law in an attempt to prevent the subversion of future presidential elections. The Presidential Election Reform Act, which passed 229-203, is meant to deter a repeat of the insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021, in which the U.S. Capitol was attacked by a […]

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

By: - September 21, 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 […]

U.S. government failed to properly count deaths of people in prisons and jails, Senate report says

By: - September 21, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice did not properly count nearly 1,000 deaths of incarcerated people in jails and prisons, according to a bipartisan report released Tuesday by a U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee.  The 10-month investigation by the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, chaired by Georgia Sen. Jon Ossoff, found […]

Candidates, mostly Republican, skip debates, bar press during midterm campaigns

By: - September 8, 2022

WASHINGTON — With two months left of the 2022 campaign season, a majority of Republican candidates are continuing to skirt away from not only talking to local and national media outlets about their policy issues, but their own constituents, leaving voters with little information on their policy positions. “If we are to hold our elected […]

Jewish congregations mount legal challenges to state abortion bans

By: - August 30, 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 […]