Author

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.

Secretary of State Morales doles out $308K+ in spot bonuses

By: and - October 30, 2023

Indiana Secretary of State Diego Morales has given a spot bonus to nearly every employee in his office this year — including a family member and his former campaign manager — for a total of more than $308,000. New data obtained by the Indiana Capital Chronicle showed that just four of six offices led by […]

Drainage task force fumbles on final report

By: - October 27, 2023

Over three-plus hours Wednesday, members painstakingly debated and approved 20 of the 30 recommendations submitted to an interim committee on drainage along with three preliminary drafts of legislation. Then the committee defeated the final report. Instead, the committee will only provide an informational document to fellow legislators rather than proposals.  “I was extremely frustrated,” Sen. Jean […]

banks

Fort Wayne man pleads guilty in harassment of Rep. Jim Banks

By: - October 26, 2023

A Fort Wayne man on Thursday admitted harassing and intimidating Third District Congressman Jim Banks, with a sentencing hearing set for Nov. 17. Aaron L. Thompson, born in 1989, pleaded guilty to a Level 6 felony as well as a Class B misdemeanor following repeated threatening calls to Banks’ congressional office in April. In an […]

artificial intelligence

Lawmakers grapple with legal, educational implications of AI

By: - October 26, 2023

Artificial Intelligence, or AI, promises to revolutionize how people work and nearly every aspect of life could be transformed — prompting lawmakers in an interim commerce committee to scrutinize the new technology and how to best regulate it.  “We’ve had the pants scared off of us a little bit, in some regards,” said Committee Chair […]

Hoosiers gave ‘Zoom court’ high marks

By: - October 25, 2023

For thousands of Hoosiers undergoing civil proceedings during the COVID-19 pandemic, remote hearings or ‘Zoom court’ allowed them to attend safely and conveniently. Many Hoosiers used a smartphone to access their local justice system after the Indiana Supreme Court authorized remote technology for civil proceedings in early 2020. As the pandemic wanes, judges and justices […]

Indiana selected for biotech hub designation worth millions

By: - October 23, 2023

The federal government designated Indiana’s Heartland BioWorks as a Regional Technology and Innovation Hub on Monday, allowing the consortium of Hoosier entities to compete against other hubs for implementation grants of up to $75 million. U.S. Sen. Todd Young authored the program as part of the CHIPS and Science Act expressly to “spur more innovation … […]

Health care costs target of state policy proposals

By: - October 20, 2023

Lawmakers continued to wrestle with Indiana’s high health care costs Thursday, determining which state actions would be effective to strengthen a free market. Two national experts testified virtually before the committee to share what other states had done and review options but legislators seemed frustrated by the need to take action. “… in a (true) […]

Committee concludes with draft recommendations for child care

By: - October 18, 2023

The third and final meeting of the interim committee on Public Health, Behavioral Health and Human Services concluded with a unanimous vote to approve a draft report of recommendations — though that report wasn’t yet available for public review.  Much of the final report focused on child care testimony from an August meeting, where stakeholders […]

Statehouse spotlights to support Israel ‘moving on’

By: - October 18, 2023

A dozen spotlights illuminating the night sky around downtown Indianapolis in the colors of the Israel flag will ‘move on’ from the Statehouse, a rare and possibly first-of-its-kind display that appeared Monday morning. Gov. Eric Holcomb said on X, formerly known as Twitter, that the spotlights and the Israeli flag over the Governor’s Residence in […]

SBOA details auditing duties and added COVID responsibilities

By: - October 13, 2023

The influx of billions of dollars in federal relief funneled through the state to Indiana’s counties, cities and townships has increased the workload for the State Board of Accounts (SBOA) by 30%, as the entity audits local budgets and implements federal spending requirements.  “Lots of communities are kind of ‘sitting on their money.’ They’re not […]

Second Stellantis, Samsung EV battery plant announced for Kokomo

By: - October 11, 2023

Stellantis and Samsung SDI announced a second planned gigafactory in Kokomo, Indiana to manufacture EV batteries. (Getty Images)

FSSA drops Molina as Managed Care contractor

By: - October 10, 2023

The Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) dropped one of four companies it previously recommended to operate as one of the state’s Managed Care Entities after determining that finalist Molina Healthcare didn’t meet its standards.  According to the agency’s website, Molina “has been unable to secure a (Dual-Eligible Special Needs Plan) contract with the Centers […]