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.

Indiana Supreme Court releases disciplinary agreement connected to Rokita reprimand

By: - February 1, 2024

The Indiana Supreme Court on Thursday unsealed the conditional disciplinary agreement from the public reprimand of Attorney General Todd Rokita. Rokita was reprimanded late last year for his televised comments about Indianapolis doctor Caitlin Bernard, who oversaw a medication abortion for a 10-year-old rape victim from Ohio in 2022. Bernard, an OB-GYN, was later disciplined […]

Indiana school boards to have final say over ‘human sexuality’ lessons under GOP-backed bill

By: - February 1, 2024

Hoosier school boards would have authority over “human sexuality” instruction under legislation moving through the Indiana Statehouse. But opponents say local leaders already have a say in sex education curricula, and call the bill “hostile” towards LGBTQ students. The GOP-backed measure advanced 8-5 from the Senate education committee on Wednesday and now heads to the […]

‘More time to do our jobs’: Indiana lawmakers advance bill to lighten load on school counselors

By: - February 1, 2024

Hoosier lawmakers want to guarantee school counselors have more time to provide services for students that are increasingly in demand while spending less time filling in elsewhere, like as substitute teachers or on lunch and recess duty. Senate Bill 141 is headed to the full chamber after the Senate education committee voted unanimously in its […]

Bill to limit foreign “adversaries” from buying Indiana farmland advances in House

By: - January 30, 2024

A bill to limit who can buy agricultural land in Indiana advanced Monday with bipartisan support. House Bill 1183, authored by Rep. Kendell Culp, R-Rensselaer, would prohibit purchasers from “adversarial countries” from owning or leasing Hoosier farmland.  A list of those countries is kept by the U.S. Department of Commerce and currently includes six nations: […]

Puppy sales, child labor and more advance from House

By: , and - January 30, 2024

Indiana’s House of Representatives on Monday narrowly approved a bill setting state regulations for dog breeding and sales – including random pet store and dog breeder inspections – while overturning local bans on the retail sale of dogs. Representatives also voted to move legislation loosening child labor laws, tightening election requirements and authorizing alcohol happy […]

Indiana education secretary says schools have funds to get started on proposed literacy intiatives

By: - January 26, 2024

Will Hoosier schools have the funds to put in place new literacy mandates proposed by state lawmakers? Indiana Secretary of Education Katie Jenner on Thursday maintained they do — at least for now.  She said the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) has enough holdover dollars to roll out additional reading tests and expanded summer school […]

Bills to employ school chaplains, allow religious instruction move forward in Indiana legislature

By: - January 25, 2024

Lines between church and state blurred at the Indiana Statehouse on Wednesday as lawmakers gave the go-ahead for two education bills that seek to increase students’ access to faith leaders and religious instruction.  One proposal, House Bill 1137, would require schools to approve parental requests for students to leave school during the day for religious […]

Republican lawmakers advance new attempt to limit Indiana governor’s executive powers

By: - January 24, 2024

Still reeling over a slew of executive orders issued by Gov. Eric Holcomb during the pandemic, Senate Republicans advanced a bill Tuesday that seeks to limit the governor’s emergency powers.  The clapback legislation, Senate Bill 234, removes a Hoosier governor’s ability to extend a state of disaster emergency after 30 days — or declare a […]

Proposed property tax exemptions could increase — and cheapen — Indiana child care options

By: - January 24, 2024

Indiana lawmakers are looking at new property tax breaks as a way to alleviate the state’s child care deserts and help working Hoosiers find more affordable options. Senate Bill 147 seeks to make for-profit child care providers tax exempt, and provides a partial property-tax exemption for businesses that offer onsite child care for employees.  Expanded […]

Contentious pet store, ‘puppy mill’ bill reemerges at the Indiana Statehouse

By: - January 23, 2024

Tensions flared at the Statehouse on Monday as lawmakers revived — and advanced — a bill to block cities and towns from banning the retail sale of dogs. It was a win for puppy breeders and a national pet store chain but went against the wishes of animal welfare advocates and numerous local officials. A […]

Banks, Rust spar over residency as primary battle for Indiana’s U.S. Senate seat continues

By: - January 22, 2024

Where does U.S. Senate candidate John Rust actually live? That’s the latest question lobbed by his challenger, GOP favorite U.S. Rep. Jim Banks, as the race for Indiana’s open seat heats up. In a campaign ad released last month — and in new statements made this week — Banks called out Rust for “lying” about his […]

Bobcat season in Indiana? State lawmakers renew push to permit hunting and trapping

By: - January 19, 2024

For years, efforts to allow hunting and trapping of bobcats in Indiana have proved unsuccessful. But a bill moving through the General Assembly could soon require the state’s Department of Natural Resources to establish a hunting season for bobcats not later than July 1, 2025. Sen. Scott Baldwin, R-Noblesville, who authored Senate Bill 241, said […]