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.

Ten agencies spent over $5M on spot bonuses

By: - November 7, 2023

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation doesn’t have the largest headcount, but the relatively small state agency spent an outsized amount of taxpayer dollars on spot bonuses totaling $1.2 million over two years for a department with 114 employees.  For comparison, the state’s largest agency — the Indiana Department of Correction — has 5,149 employees and […]

Halfway through Medicaid “unwinding,” where does Indiana stand?

By: - November 3, 2023

As Indiana hits the halfway point for the Medicaid unwinding process, the rate of Hoosiers losing benefits seems to have slowed as the state reassesses the coverage of millions of beneficiaries following the expiration of pandemic protections. However, with a total of 231,403 Hoosiers kicked off of the rolls, Indiana could potentially exceed an earlier […]

Indiana Treasurer Elliott heavily invests Indiana funds in Israel

By: - November 1, 2023

Indiana State Treasurer Daniel Elliott, who championed removing personal ideologies from state investment strategies throughout the legislative session, announced on Wednesday a significant purchase of Israel funds to support the U.S. ally.  “Israel is our most important ally in the world.  This investment reflects the confidence that I have in the Israeli people and the […]

Health entities providing gender-affirming care turn to court to quash Attorney General’s request

By: - November 1, 2023

Three health care entities urged a Marion County judge to quash civil investigative demands from Attorney General Todd Rokita Tuesday, part of an ongoing battle over gender-affirming care.  Marion County Judge Gary Miller said he would decide over the next 48 hours how to proceed with the request after a brief hearing Tuesday in which […]

Counties use high school students as poll workers to shore up staff

By: - October 31, 2023

A state law allowing counties to hire high school students as poll workers fills gaps in election staff for several counties around the state — both large and small.  Under the Hoosier Hall Pass program, 16- and 17-year-old students can staff the polls, missing a school day for “a ‘live’ experience of democracy in action,” […]

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 […]


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) […]