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.

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 […]

Indiana bill seeks to keep vaccination records and school transcripts separate

By: - March 16, 2023

A debate over Hoosier students’ vaccination records ensued at the Indiana Statehouse Wednesday as lawmakers weighed a bill that seeks to prohibit schools from coupling health and academic documents. Current state law permits schools to include a student’s immunization information with their high school transcript. Sen. Andy Zay, R-Huntington, maintained that doing so is a […]

Indiana abortions drop significantly, despite pause on statewide ban

By: and - March 15, 2023

Abortions in Indiana spiked in the months following the Dobbs ruling, but the number of procedures happening across the state has since dropped nearly 50%, according to newly released state data.  The first three months after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Indiana clinics submitted an average of 1,048 terminated pregnancy reports each […]

Indiana “school choice” advocates up lobbying efforts for more private, charter school funding

By: - March 15, 2023

Indiana’s leading “school choice” advocates are mobilizing families at Hoosier private schools and ramping up lobbying efforts to expand the state’s voucher program. The latest push includes a statewide poll and multiple local advocacy events intended to sway the state’s budget writers. The Institute for Quality Education (IQE), an Indianapolis-based nonprofit that backs the state’s […]

Registration opens for Indiana’s 2023-24 On My Way Pre-K program

By: - March 13, 2023

Hoosier parents can officially register kids for the state’s On My Way Pre-K program for the 2023-24 school year, state officials announced Monday. The grant-based program provides access to free pre-kindergarten education for Indiana children from low-income families. Children eligible for the upcoming school year must be 4 years old by August 1 and plan […]

economic interests

Numerous Indiana lawmakers do private consulting. But who are they working for?

By: - March 13, 2023

A little more than a month after Indiana House Speaker Todd Huston’s high-profile departure last year from a six-figure role at the College Board, the Republican leader quietly started his own private consulting firm, according to new financial disclosure records. Huston’s latest statement of economic interest (SEI), which must be filed every year, names TMH […]

Indiana’s third-party testing on toxic train derailment waste comes back clear

By: - March 9, 2023

Gov. Eric Holcomb reported late Wednesday that results from third-party testing on the hazardous waste coming from East Palestine show no harmful levels of dioxins. “Pace Labs has completed and shared the full results of their third-party dioxin testing I had ordered and expedited last week,” Holcomb said in a statement. Initial samples were taken […]

Charter schools win in proposed Indiana budget amid public advocacy campaign

By: - March 8, 2023

Charter schools in Indiana could see big gains under the current draft of the next two-year state budget. But the deal could cause long-term losses for traditional public schools, some of which stand to lose millions of dollars needed for teacher raises and other non-classroom expenses.  A new funding stream carved into the House Republican […]