Casey Smith

Casey Smith

A lifelong Hoosier, Casey Smith previously reported on the Indiana Legislature for The Associated Press. Internationally, she has reported on water quality across South America. She holds a master’s degree in investigative reporting and narrative science writing from the University of California/Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. She previously earned degrees in journalism, anthropology and Spanish from Ball State University, where she now serves as an instructor of journalism.

Ban on taxpayer-funded gender-affirming surgery for Indiana inmates heads to governor

By: and - March 31, 2023

A bill to ban state and federal dollars from being used to provide Indiana inmates with gender-affirming sexual reassignment surgery advanced to the governor’s desk Thursday. Senators voted 38-9 to move House Bill 1569, which restricts the Indiana Department of Correction (DOC) from paying for an offender’s reassignment surgery — even if recommended by a […]

Indiana’s “$1 Law” to expire — plus new funding for charter schools — under newly amended bill

By: - March 30, 2023

A bill originally focused on school building closures was transformed Wednesday to primarily provide Indiana charter schools with access to more state and local funding. Lawmakers in the House Education Committee adopted the sweeping amendment to Senate Bill 391 along party lines and with mixed opinions from Hoosier parents and education advocates. Republicans supported the […]

Property owners could ‘supersede’ Indiana health officials over septic systems, under House bill

By: - March 29, 2023

Republican state lawmakers are seeking to “overhaul” Indiana’s septic system laws and make it easier for new residential sewage disposal mechanisms to be installed or replaced. But environmental advocates say at least one of the proposals advancing through the Statehouse could lead to more failed septic systems and increased pollution across Indiana. House Bill 1647 […]

Indiana sewage bill — amended to reduce wetlands protections — passes House

By: - March 29, 2023

A controversial bill that Republican state lawmakers claim will clarify definitions in the state’s wetlands law passed out of the House 62-31 Tuesday and now heads back to the Senate chamber.  The original Senate Bill 414 detailed the storage of residential sewage and had bipartisan support, but environmental groups say last week’s wetlands addition narrows […]

Mitch Daniels to join Carmel-based Liberty Fund as scholar, advisor

By: - March 28, 2023

Former Indiana Governor and Purdue University President Mitch Daniels will soon begin a new role at the Liberty Fund, a private education foundation based in Carmel. Daniels — who was named a distinguished scholar and senior advisor — will focus on “the creation of educational programs and partnerships that will strengthen Liberty Fund’s existing educational […]

Indiana budget should increase funding for public schools — not vouchers — Democrats say

By: - March 27, 2023

Democratic state lawmakers continue to decry education funding “inequities” in the state’s draft budget and are now mounting pressure on their Republican counterparts to “fully fund” Indiana’s traditional K-12 public schools in the next spending plan. House Republicans tout that nearly half of their budget proposal, 48%, goes to K-12 education, which will get a […]

Trump, Pence, Holcomb among top GOP speakers at next month’s NRA event in Indianapolis

By: - March 24, 2023

Former President Donald Trump, former vice president Mike Pence, and Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb are among the prominent Republican figures slated to headline next month’s National Rifle Association (NRA) convention in Indianapolis. The 2023 Annual Meetings & Exhibit will take place from April 14-16 at the Indiana Convention Center. The speaking forum featuring Trump and […]

Virtual school funding increase benefits House Speaker’s client

By: - March 24, 2023

Indiana House Speaker Todd Huston maintained Thursday that virtual charter schools deserve equal funding as their brick-and-mortar counterparts and denied that a virtual education company he consults for would unfairly benefit from an increase in taxpayer dollars proposed in the state budget The for-profit Stride, Inc. operates seven Indiana-based virtual public, charter and private schools, […]

Senate committee moves stricter version of bill targeting student pronoun changes in schools

By: - March 23, 2023

Indiana senators made multiple amendments on the fly Wednesday to a controversial “parental rights” bill that seeks to restrict pronoun usage of transgender children and instruction about “human sexuality” in schools.  Critics of the bill argue that it’s part of a nationwide wave of legislation “singling out LGBT people and their families.” Supporters say parents […]

Lawmakers don jerseys over suits and dresses in friendly game of basketball

By: - March 23, 2023

There were no suits, ties or dresses for state lawmakers Wednesday night — just shorts, tennis shoes and a lot of sweat.  The annual legislative basketball game played at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis offered a short reprieve from Statehouse decorum. More than two dozen members from both chambers — and both sides of the aisle […]

Indiana lawmakers move bill to prevent spending on sex reassignment surgery for inmates

By: - March 22, 2023

State and federal dollars could not be used for gender-affirming sexual reassignment surgery for offenders imprisoned in Indiana, under a bill passed by a Senate panel Tuesday.  House Bill 1569, authored by Rep. Peggy Mayfield, R-Martinsville, restricts the Indiana Department of Correction (DOC) from paying for an inmate’s reassignment surgery — even if recommended by […]

Despite pushback, bill advancing Indiana’s carbon sequestration projects moves forward

By: and - March 22, 2023

A bill that seeks to propel Indiana’s ongoing carbon sequestration pilot project was approved Tuesday by lawmakers in the House, signaling momentum for what has so far been a divisive measure. Senate Bill 451 is part of a years-long effort to move forward the construction of carbon capture and sequestration projects, while also giving special […]