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.

Hoosier Environmental Council gets new leadership

By: - October 17, 2022

Sam Carpenter will be the new leader of the Hoosier Environmental Council following the spring departure of Jesse Kharbanda as executive director for more than 14 years. “Environmental issues are issues of our collective society,” Carpenter said in a release. “That’s why (the Hoosier Environmental Council) is so important: they rally and provide direction for […]

Indiana’s revenues break yearlong streak above projections

By: - October 14, 2022

For the first time in nearly a year Indiana’s revenues didn’t exceed projections, but rather fell short due to repealed taxes and delayed tax collections. After a string of several months with reported revenues coming in higher than the December 2021 forecasts predicted, September’s sum came in at $1.9 billion, or $82 million (4.2%) less […]

DCS failed to properly store health care records for foster children, report finds

By: - October 14, 2022

A federal report released in September found Indiana failed to comply with its own requirements for documenting the use of psychotropic and opioid medications prescribed to foster children, following concerns earlier this year about overmedicating foster children.  The review of 115 children in state custody, 95% of whom had improperly stored healthcare information, confirms part […]

Activists, Indianapolis City-County Councillors push HHC to drop Medicaid suit

By: - October 14, 2022

Healthcare advocates and members of the Indianapolis City-County Council urged a city entity Thursday to drop a Medicaid lawsuit set to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court later this month.  The Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County (HHC) is a defendant in a lawsuit that some worry would impact any Medicaid beneficiary receiving […]

Freeman appointed as Corrections committee chair

By: - October 13, 2022

Sen. Aaron Freeman, R-Indianapolis, will serve as the new chair of the chamber’s Corrections and Criminal Law Committee, starting Thursday. Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray, R-Martinsville, announced the change in a release, noting Freeman’s experience as a practicing attorney and service on the committee since first elected in 2016. “Sen. Freeman is well qualified […]

Hospitals warn of costs ahead of 2023, critic dismisses them

By: - October 13, 2022

Indiana’s hospitals warn of a “fragile” healthcare sector easily damaged by well-meaning but overeager legislation with the release of a recent survey documenting increasing healthcare costs for providers as policymakers prepare for the 2023 legislative session.  “There are very important Medicare funding programs that expire at the end of this year. (In) some of our […]

Is Indiana welcoming to immigrants?

By: and - October 7, 2022

As Gov. Eric Holcomb participates on another international economic development trip this year, advocates at home wonder whether Indiana is doing enough to overcome its bureaucratic hurdles and welcome immigrants to the Hoosier State.  Ellen Wu, a history professor at Indiana University with a focus on immigration, said people tend to remember America as more […]

Committee focuses on Black deaths in Indiana’s maternal mortality increase

By: - October 5, 2022

A key legislative panel heard testimony related to the state’s dismal maternal mortality rate Tuesday, exploring solutions it could propose as legislation in the 2023 session.  The latest Indiana Maternal Mortality Review Committee report found that 92 women died during pregnancy or up to a year postpartum, an increase from the previous year.  State Health […]

Quiet, introverted Thompson takes helm of Ways and Means Committee

By: - October 3, 2022

When Richard Allen Thompson started his first term as state representative in 1979, his son Jeffrey Thompson — a recent college graduate — thought, “Someday, I might want to do this.” Twenty years later, after his father (then a state senator) retired in 1996, Jeff Thompson became a representative for some of the same parts […]

Untreated mental illnesses cost state $4.2B annually, report says

By: - September 30, 2022

The infrastructure of Indiana’s behavioral health treatment system is underfunded and in need of reform, even as one in five Hoosiers live with a mental illness each year, a new report says. For every four residents who receive treatment for their mental illnesses, someone else doesn’t receive any services. The estimated state cost annually for […]

INDOT, BMV detail agency cost increases

By: - September 29, 2022

Inflation and long-delayed system updates will drive up funding requests for the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) and Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) in the upcoming budget session, as legislators learned Wednesday. In its concluding meeting, the interim study committee on Roads and Transportation heard testimony about projected cost increases for agencies as lawmakers prepare […]

Carter steps down from DOC, Reagle steps up

By: - September 28, 2022

Rob Carter will leave his role as the commissioner of the Indiana Department of Corrections (IDOC) after almost six years in leadership, with Christina Reagle succeeding him in the position. Carter spearheaded partnerships to cultivate education, job skills and training opportunities for incarcerated Hoosiers. With legislators, he implemented a new credit time system that incentivizes […]