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.

Judy responds to alleged Oath Keeper connection

By: - September 14, 2022

Rep. Chris Judy, R-Fort Wayne, responded publicly after a national organization tied him to a far-right group whose leaders are facing federal charges for their role in the January 6 insurrection. Late last week the Anti-Defamation League Center on Extremism identified thousands of people allegedly affiliated with the Oath Keepers, an anti-government militia group, including […]

Caught in the crosshairs of controversy

By: - September 13, 2022

LaGrange Republican Sen. Sue Glick, author of the state’s near-total abortion ban, felt the spotlight of the nation’s attention as lawmakers sparred in the summer special session – but she wasn’t the first Hoosier lawmaker to court controversy. Whether abortion access, Indiana’s decision to lease its toll road or the battle over “Right to Work,” […]

Settlement for ‘deceptive emails’ sent to public employees

By: - September 12, 2022

A Nevada-based company must stop soliciting Indiana public employees after allegedly sending deceptive emails offering financial consultations that actually attempted to sell additional products from a third party. Due to similar names, state employees may have believed that the emails came from a state-approved vendor. Attorney General Todd Rokita alleged that PERA LLC sent more […]

Indiana Grown names new director

By: - September 12, 2022

Caroline Patrick will serve as the new director of Indiana Grown, promoting locally produced food from Hoosier farmers to consumers under the Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA). Though Indiana has over 57,500 farms and spends $16 billion annually on food, less than 10% of that food comes from within the state. Patrick will connect […]

Kinship care above national average in Indiana though financial burden exists

By: - September 12, 2022

A growing number of adult relatives are raising children who aren’t their own, often grandparents caring for a grandchild, in a family structure known as kinship care. Though it comes with many responsibilities and challenges, one looming obstacle is the financial burden on families providing for additional children. An estimated 4% of all Hoosier children […]

August tax collections up over forecasted sum

By: - September 9, 2022

The state’s coffers continue to grow thanks to stronger-than-anticipated tax collections with General Fund revenues over $1.5 billion, up $128.1 million (9%) from December 2021 projections, according to the latest revenue report. That sum is $173.3 million (12.6%) above revenue for August 2021 and comes in slightly above tax collections from July. Growth in individual […]

Indiana receives federal approval for expanded postpartum coverage

By: - September 9, 2022

Hoosier moms covered by Medicaid during their pregnancy will keep the insurance coverage up to a year after the birth of their child, a move that the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approved this week. Previously, moms only had coverage 60 days postpartum. Though the agency had provided the coverage since April, it […]

Education program launched for foster high school students

By: - September 8, 2022

A nonprofit dedicated to supporting foster children transitioning out of the foster care system launched a program Thursday designed to help high school students prepare for higher education or career options after graduation. Foster Success announced the Educational Success program at the organization’s inaugural educators’ conference and opened up applications for Hoosier children who spent […]

CollegeChoice 529 Education Sweepstakes for $10,000 open

By: - September 7, 2022

One Hoosier with a CollegeChoice Savings Plan will win a $10,000 deposit from a state sweepstakes this month, part of a state effort to encourage Hoosiers to save for higher education. “The semester is in full swing, and with school on the mind, there’s no better time for Hoosiers to begin saving for their educational […]

Student loan forgiveness counts as income in Indiana

By: - September 7, 2022

Thousands of Hoosier borrowers with student loan debt discharged under a presidential proposal could see their taxable income increase under Indiana law.  The loan forgiveness, announced in late August by President Joe Biden, waives up to $10,000 for borrowers earning less than $125,000 or couples earning less than $250,000. Borrowers who qualified for Pell Grants […]

IU Health reveals post-abortion ban healthcare plan

By: - September 2, 2022

Indiana University Health said Thursday it was prepared for the state’s near-total abortion ban to take effect on Sept. 15, and its physicians across the state are ready to follow the law. “We’re going to continue to provide abortion care – legal abortion care – in our state through our health system for our patients […]

Advocates say overmedication of children in foster care still a problem

By: - September 1, 2022

Nearly a decade ago, the Indiana Department of Child Services and Family and Social Services Administration acknowledged a problem: too many children in foster care were getting psychotropic medication instead of mental healthcare.  The agencies launched the Indiana Psychotropic Medication Advisory Committee in 2013, vowing to increase oversight and make policy recommendations. Just one year […]