Whitney Downard

Whitney Downard

A native of upstate New York, Whitney previously covered statehouse politics for CNHI’s nine Indiana papers, focusing on long-term healthcare facilities and local government. Prior to her foray into Indiana politics, she worked as a general assignment reporter for The Meridian Star in Meridian, Mississippi. Whitney is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University (#GoBonnies!), a community theater enthusiast and cat mom.

State revenue continues to exceed forecast

By: - August 12, 2022

The state’s latest monthly revenue report had good news for Indiana’s coffers, with nearly every category of tax collections above estimates forecasted in December and largely bolstered by higher-than-expected gambling collections as the state starts the 2023 fiscal year. Overall, General Fund revenues for July totaled $1.5 billion, or $72.0 million (5.1%) above the December […]

FSSA launches pilot mental health program in jails

By: - August 11, 2022

The Division of Mental Health and Addiction, part of the Family and Social Services Administration, on Thursday announced a pilot program to address mental health and substance use disorders for Hoosiers incarcerated while awaiting trial. The program, called the Integrated Reentry and Correctional Support program (IRACS), will operate in five Indiana county jails and aims […]

Indiana’s child well-being 28th in the nation

By: - August 9, 2022

A family and children advocacy group ranked Indiana as the 28th best state for child well-being, a slight improvement from last year’s ranking of 29th. The Annie E. Casey Foundation released its annual KIDS COUNT Data Book, which analyzes 16 indicators across four categories — economic well-being, education, health and family/ community factors — to […]

Groups ask Supreme Court, legislature to weigh in on gender marker case

By: - August 5, 2022

The Indiana Court of Appeals is divided over changing a child’s birth certificate gender marker. Now, a group of outside organizations want clarity. The case revolves around a transgender girl whose mother filed — back in 2019 — to change her gender marker to female to allow her to fully participate in school. The girl […]

House and Senate approve financial relief bill; governor signs it into law

By: - August 5, 2022

The Indiana General Assembly broadly approved a deal providing wraparound social services and inflation relief on Friday, passing both chambers with a wide majority. Gov. Eric Holcomb signed the bill late Friday night, saying “This fulfills what I set out to accomplish when calling the General Assembly into special session in order help Hoosiers hurting […]

House and Senate reach deal for inflation relief and social services

By: - August 5, 2022

The House and Senate reached a deal for distributing more than $1 billion in surplus accounts and providing $75 million in direct appropriations and discretionary funding for social service programs in the wake of an abortion ban.  The deal was part of an amendment approved Thursday to Senate Bill 2.  The bill now combines elements […]

House preserves exception for rape, incest in abortion ban

By: - August 5, 2022

House lawmakers on Thursday defeated amendments seeking to eliminate the exceptions for rape, incest and fatal fetal anomalies in a proposed abortion ban and redefined the exception for life of the mother to protect well-meaning physicians.  A full House vote is expected Friday. If it passes, the Senate can either accept the changes or send […]

Indy Chamber, Gen Con condemn proposed abortion ban

By: - August 4, 2022

The state’s largest regional business chamber, Indy Chamber, chastised the state legislature for moving a measure that would ban abortion from conception, with exemptions for rape, incest and life of the mother. “The Indy Chamber urges the legislature not to proceed with (Senate Bill) 1. We ask that the General Assembly instead take time to […]

U.S. Representative Jackie Walorski dies in car crash

By: and - August 3, 2022

U.S. Representative Jackie Walorski, R-2nd, was killed in a car crash Wednesday about 12:32 p.m. near Nappanee, a city south of South Bend.  Two other occupants in Walorski’s vehicle, heading northbound, were identified as Zachery Potts, 27, Mishawaka, and Emma Thomson, 28, of Washington, D.C. Both worked for Walorski’s office. The driver of the other […]

Senate, House at impasse on inflation relief and social services

By: - August 3, 2022

The Senate and House chambers seem to be on opposite sides when it comes to proposals for funding social services and providing inflation relief to Hoosiers.  Just one day after a House committee stripped and replaced the Senate’s bill with their own version, Senators voted 10-1 to do the same to the House version Wednesday.  […]

House committee strips, replaces Senate social services bill language

By: - August 3, 2022

The Senate social services bill, designed to accommodate an increased demand in family services following a proposed abortion ban, duplicates the House version after Tuesday’s committee meeting. The House Ways and Means Committee removed the language of Senate Bill 2 and replaced it with House Bill 1001, which already passed the committee and House Chamber […]

Hoosiers eye sterilization as abortion ban moves

By: - August 2, 2022

With an abortion ban almost certain following the Senate passage of a bill on Saturday, some Hoosiers are turning to long-term contraceptives, like IUDs, while others consider a more permanent option: sterilization. Katie McHugh, an obstetrician-gynecologist and abortion provider in Indianapolis, said she has heard more people talking about seeking the procedure since the U.S. […]