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.

House GOP budget advances to full chamber, with questions about K-12, public health funding

By: - February 21, 2023

The proposed House Republican budget advanced Monday to the full chamber, where much of the debate over Indiana’s next two-year spending plan will continue to center around school funding, public health and tax cuts. The House Ways and Means Committee voted 14-5, along party lines, in favor of the draft budget. K-12 education accounts for […]

Birth control access and tax deductions bills progress through Statehouse

By: and - February 21, 2023

A Republican-backed bill that would make it easier for Hoosiers to access birth control advanced 86-12 from the House on Monday and now heads to the Senate. House Bill 1568, authored by Rep. Elizabeth Rowray, R-Yorktown, would allow pharmacists to prescribe hormonal birth control to people 18 and older without an appointment. That includes contraceptive […]

Catholic Diocese refutes state senator’s concerns about private Indiana high school

By: - February 20, 2023

The Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend is defending a private high school in northern Indiana after a top Republican lawmaker admonished the school for “disgusting” behavior. Sen. Ryan Mishler, R-Mishawaka, said in a letter published to Facebook earlier this month that issues with the school’s policies, as well as alleged “mistreatment and bullying” of […]

Indiana lawmakers advance bill banning education on ‘human sexuality’ through the third grade

By: - February 20, 2023

More than four hours of “We say gay!” chants echoed through the Indiana Statehouse Monday as hundreds rallied against a bill that would prohibit Hoosier educators from talking about “human sexuality” through 3rd grade. The latest draft of the proposal also targets transgender students by prohibiting school employees from using a name or pronoun that […]

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Indiana House Republicans propose major school voucher expansion in next state budget

By: - February 17, 2023

Indiana taxpayers would more than double their spending on the state’s “school choice” voucher program under the latest budget proposal released Friday by House Republicans. The GOP plan also limits its commitment — to $225 million — for public-private partnerships meant to increase public health services across the state. That’s only two-thirds of Gov. Eric […]

Indiana House Republicans “committed” to voucher school expansion

By: - February 17, 2023

Indiana House Republicans will seek to expand the state’s “school choice” program despite a top GOP senator’s call for more voucher school reforms. Republican House Speaker Todd Huston said his caucus is “110% committed” to funding — and growing — Indiana’s voucher program, known as Choice Scholarships. He suggested that lawmakers will widen eligibility for […]

Tensions rise at Indiana Statehouse over bill targeting “harmful” library materials for minors

By: - February 16, 2023

Tensions rose at the Indiana Statehouse Wednesday after a bill targeting materials deemed “harmful to minors” in school libraries was rolled back — and then amended again — in committee. Language in the original version of the bill, authored by Sen. Jim Tomes, R-Wadesville, sought to remove “educational purposes” as a reason that public schools […]

Indiana education advocates reignite fight against latest anti-CRT bill

By: - February 15, 2023

Indiana teachers and education advocates admonished state lawmakers Tuesday for reviving multiple divisive “culture war” bills — including one that seeks to ban “critical race theory” from being taught in classrooms. Other contentious proposals moving through the GOP-dominated General Assembly would prohibit sexually-explicit content in school library books and force schools to tell parents about […]

Higher speed limits for trucks clears first hurdle

By: - February 15, 2023

A bill that would raise the speed limit for trucks on certain Indiana roadways advanced to the full Senate Tuesday despite opposition from the state’s largest truck drivers group.  Republican Sen. Jim Tomes, of Wadesville, authored the proposal that seeks to increase speed limits for large vehicles, like semi trucks, to 70 mph on highways […]

Top Indiana senator rebukes voucher school program in new letter

By: - February 14, 2023

A top Republican lawmaker threatened to hold up new state spending for Indiana’s voucher school program — and advised parents to “beware” of non-public schools — after he claimed to have witnessed “disgusting” behavior at a private Catholic school in northern Indiana. The reprimand is an uncharacteristic move for a member of the state’s GOP […]

Committee advances changes to Indiana carbon sequestration pilot project

By: and - February 14, 2023

The GOP-majority on the Senate Environmental Affairs Committee approved a bill 8-3 Monday that makes changes to Indiana’s ongoing carbon sequestration pilot project. The proposal seeks to advance the construction of carbon capture and sequestration projects, while also giving special privileges to an Indiana company that is preparing to undertake the nation’s largest carbon dioxide […]

Rokita under investigation by disciplinary commission for statements about Indiana doctor

By: - February 13, 2023

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita is under investigation by the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission in relation to his televised statements about the doctor who oversaw a medication abortion for a 10-year-old rape victim from Ohio. Documents first reported by the Indiana Citizen additionally show Rokita’s office hired a Washington, D.C. law firm to help […]