Author

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.

universal school choice

Indiana nears universal ‘school choice’ in new budget

By: - April 27, 2023

Indiana House Republicans secured a major win in the next two-year state budget with a voucher buildout that “school choice” advocates say makes the program virtually universal. Expanded eligibility for Choice Scholarships — which allows families to receive vouchers to attend private schools — will raise the income ceiling to 400% of the amount required […]

“Union busting” bill opposed by Indiana teachers heads to governor’s desk

By: - April 26, 2023

Despite weeks of rallying by Hoosier teachers, the Indiana Senate narrowly advanced a hotly-debated “union-busting bill” to the governor’s desk Tuesday. Educators and union leaders maintain that Senate Bill 486 will “silence teachers” by stripping their rights to discuss concerns over student learning with school administrators. Specifically, the bill no longer requires school administrators to […]

New IU Kelley institute to focus on sustainability and the environment

By: - April 25, 2023

A new interdisciplinary institute at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business will focus on research aimed at sustainability and the environment, the school announced Monday. The Institute for Environmental and Social Sustainability will bring together more than 40 Kelley School professors in Bloomington and Indianapolis who are already doing research in those areas. New […]

Indiana bill requiring schools notify parents of transgender student requests heads to governor

By: - April 25, 2023

A controversial bill mandating that Indiana schools notify parents when a student asks for name or pronoun changes is headed to the governor’s desk. House Bill 1608 also bans human sexuality instruction to the youngest Hoosier students. The measure advanced from the House in a 63-28 vote on Monday. It’s not clear where Indiana Gov. […]

Rokita drops attempt to reopen Bernard lawsuit ahead of doctor’s licensing hearing

By: - April 24, 2023

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita will abandon his attempt to reopen a lawsuit filed against himself by Indianapolis OB-GYN Dr. Caitlin Bernard, court documents show. Rokita had sought to revive the case in order to challenge and correct “errors” in a previous ruling. But in a withdrawal notice sent to the court on Friday, Rokita […]

bills session

Major health, education and property tax proposals unclear as lawmakers enter last week of session

By: , and - April 24, 2023

Indiana’s lawmakers are nearing the end of a grueling nearly four-month legislative session, but three of their biggest priorities — aside from the budget — remain unresolved. Legislators promised to push care-boosting, cost-cutting health initiatives, expand “school choice” options, and fight high property tax bills with relief. Plenty could change in the session’s final days, […]

Indiana school officials push back on CTE grant elimination in Senate GOP budget plan

By: - April 24, 2023

A school funding provision in the Senate-drafted state budget has drawn apprehension from some Hoosier education officials who say the change threatens students’ access to “essential” training programs. In contention is a proposal to eliminate existing Career and Technical Education (CTE) grants that Indiana schools can receive on top of basic tuition support. That includes […]

Indiana lawmakers suggest a likely revival of “obscene and harmful” library materials ban

By: - April 21, 2023

Indiana lawmakers are largely mum about the revival of a much-debated ban on materials deemed “harmful to minors” in school and public libraries. A bill with such language advanced from the Senate but died in the House earlier this session without a hearing. The House Education Committee instead seemed intent on reinserting similar language from that […]

Governor signs slew of bills, others incoming

By: and - April 21, 2023

A flurry of bills were signed into law by Gov. Eric Holcomb Thursday, bringing the total number of bills to reach his desk to 93. Even as he finished, lawmakers finalized another handful of bills as they near the legislative deadline. The 79 bills Holcomb signed touched nearly every aspect of Hoosier lives, from legalizing […]

Controversial wetlands language to be deleted from Indiana sewage bill

By: - April 20, 2023

Controversial language that would have further weakened Indiana’s wetlands law will be removed from a Senate bill, state lawmakers said Thursday. Sen. Rick Niemeyer, R-Lowell, said the wetlands issue was found not germane — meaning the language was not relevant to the underlying bill, per legislative rules. “That’s why that issue came out of this […]

Automatic 21st Century Scholar enrollment, military income tax exemption bills head to governor

By: - April 20, 2023

A bill that would automatically enroll eligible Hoosier students into Indiana’s 21st Century Scholars Program — a statewide grant program that funds lower income student attendance at two- and four-year schools — advanced to the governor Wednesday in an 89-1 House vote. Rep. J.D. Prescott, R-Union City, was the only no vote. This bill requires […]

Former Rep. Marlin Stutzman announces new congressional bid for old House seat

By: - April 18, 2023

Former Republican congressman Marlin Stutzman on Tuesday announced his campaign for the Republican nomination in Indiana’s 3rd District. The seat is up for grabs after GOP incumbent Rep. Jim Banks announced earlier this year that he would instead run for a U.S. Senate seat in 2024. The Senate seat is being vacated by Republican Sen. […]