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.

Senate strikes parental consent requirement from bill targeting student pronouns in schools

By: - April 7, 2023

A controversial “parental rights” bill was pared down by Indiana senators on Thursday to remove a provision that would have required schools get consent from parents if a student requests to change their name or pronouns. The amended version of House Bill 1608 now stipulates that parents only must be notified within five business days […]

Indiana lawmakers debate bill allowing parents to challenge “obscene and harmful” library materials

By: - April 6, 2023

A bill that seeks to ban materials deemed “harmful to minors” in school and public libraries drew sharp debate Wednesday at the Indiana Statehouse, especially from librarians, who argued that such a policy would open them up to criminal charges and create a “chilling effect” on book selections. Beneath the surface of the discourse is […]

Indiana officials emphasize “child abuse is preventable” at April kickoff event

By: - April 4, 2023

The Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) on Tuesday kicked off Child Abuse Prevention Month at the Statehouse, calling for more statewide collaboration to increase safety for Hoosier kids.  “This is a month where we call on every Hoosier to do their part in making sure Indiana has healthy, strong and supported families,” Gov. Eric […]

Indiana governor says bill to ban gender-affirming care for minors is “clear as mud”

By: - April 4, 2023

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said Tuesday he’s nearing a decision on a bill that would ban gender-affirming care for minors, though he has yet to say definitively where he stands on the matter.  The Republican governor faces a Wednesday deadline to act on Senate Bill 480. He can sign the bill, veto it — with […]

Four attorneys assigned to abortion-related litigation resign from Indiana AG’s office

By: - April 4, 2023

With key hearings scheduled in licensing and civil litigation against Indianapolis OB-GYN Dr. Caitlin Bernard this month, the Indiana Attorney General’s Office will be down four attorneys who worked on the case but have now resigned. Three of the four were section chiefs for Attorney General Todd Rokita.  The Indiana Auditor’s Office — which is […]

Indiana Senate advances license plate speed camera pilot despite Republican pushback

By: - April 4, 2023

The Indiana Senate voted 31-17 Monday to allow the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) to use license plate cameras to enforce speed limits in highway work zones. Republican state lawmakers were divided over the measure, however, with some arguing that such “Big Brother” technology amounts to government overreach and could lead to later legislation allowing […]

Hesitation continues around GOP plan to boost pre-grad training for Indiana high schoolers

By: - April 3, 2023

Indiana lawmakers are adamant to “reinvent” Hoosier high school curriculum as the state tries to reverse its dismal college-going and credentialing rates, stymie other academic impacts following the COVID-19 pandemic and help fill open jobs around the state. But a Republican-backed plan to graduate Hoosier students who are better prepared for the workforce — and […]

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 […]