to find the most relevant stories, change "Everywhere" to "Headline" or "Headline and Lead Paragraph"
change the dates of coverage! The default date for news is everything since the early 1980s
use w/s or w/p to find your terms within the same sentence or same paragraph: tax w/s legislation
put phrases in quotes - "interest groups"
For state news sources: select Sources on the left, then Find Sources. In the center screen check General News Sources and the More Options button. Select + United States, pick your state, select specific news sources, OK.