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.

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 […]

On hold with 911? Indiana bill seeks to increase operators, decrease emergency wait times

By: - March 21, 2023

Five minutes, 10 minutes, even upwards of 18 minutes — that’s how long some Hoosiers said they’ve recently waited on hold before getting through to a 911 operator. Now, state lawmakers are taking action. A bill authored by Sen. Jack Sandlin, R-Indianapolis, would remove residency requirements for 911 operators across the state. Sandlin said the […]

Election bills top today’s legislative roundup

By: and - March 21, 2023

Lawmakers tackled numerous topics Monday, highlighted by key election bills and a measure that could slow the retirement of coal-fired power plants. A third bill creating a new misdemeanor crime if a person doesn’t move away from police activity also was debated. A Senate committee approved a flurry of election changes Monday, all authored by […]

Lawmakers say Indiana bill to monitor early coal plant closures would ensure reliability

By: - March 20, 2023

How quickly can — or should — Indiana transition away from coal? That’s a key question in the state legislature as lawmakers debate a bill that seeks to slow down the retirement of certain coal-fired power plants.  Senate Bill 9, authored by Sens. Jean Leising, R-Oldenburg, and Susan Glick, R-LaGrange, would require utilities to provide […]

‘Perfect’ for St. Patrick’s Day: Bust of former Indiana Gov. Joe Kernan unveiled at Statehouse

By: - March 17, 2023

It was a St. Patrick’s Day suited “just right” for Indiana’s former Gov. Joe Kernan. In the Statehouse Rotunda Friday morning, state officials – current and former — gathered together alongside friends and family of Indiana’s 48th governor for the unveiling of a bust in Kernan’s memory. The late Democratic leader was previously lieutenant governor […]

Indiana parents, education advocates split over “school choice” budget increases

By: - March 17, 2023

Dozens of Hoosiers descended upon the Statehouse to call for increased K-12 funding in the next state budget, but much of the testimony heard on Thursday was split over a pending proposal to more than double taxpayer spending on Indiana’s “school choice” voucher program. The Senate School Funding Subcommittee heard more than five hours of […]