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.

IEDC spends $126M on Boone County land purchases — so far

By: - March 6, 2023

What can $126 million buy you in Boone County? More than 1,500 acres, if you’re the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC).  The LEAP Innovation District is Indiana’s attempt to compete with the North Carolina Research Triangle, deliberately crafting a “high-tech” corridor along I-65 in Boone County, roughly halfway between Indianapolis and Purdue University. IEDC has […]

Health care bills aim to reform insurance, Medicaid reimbursement rates

By: - March 3, 2023

A slew of health care bills moving through the legislature target high prices for Hoosiers by encouraging competition and restructuring how the state pays for services under Medicaid.  But critics say the bills don’t go far enough and more is needed to reform the system – especially for government insurance reimbursement rates.  In the House […]

Parents lose right to direct gender-affirming care for transgender minors under Senate bill

By: - March 1, 2023

The Indiana Senate voted 36-12 on Tuesday to approve a bill that would ban gender-affirming health care for transgender minors.  “It’s common sense public policy to protect your children from unproven, irreversible and life-altering decisions,” Sen. Tyler Johnson, R-Leo, said. “A child cannot understand the weight and permanency of these decisions.” Johnson’s bill would ban […]


Bills on long-acting contraceptives, commission for eliminating Indiana income tax advance

By: and - February 28, 2023

A bill requiring Indiana hospitals to give women the option to place a long-acting reversible contraception shortly after childbirth during their hospital stay narrowly passed the Senate on Monday. Senate Bill 266, a bipartisan measure authored by Sens. Jean Breaux, D-Indianapolis, and Vaneta Becker, R-Evansville, advanced 26-23 from the chamber and now heads to the […]

Property tax relief program available for Hoosiers in hardship

By: - February 27, 2023

Hoosiers undergoing a financial hardship may qualify for a state program that offers property tax relief. The Indiana Homeowners Assistance Fund (IHAF), administered by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA), is a mortgage payment assistance program for Indiana homeowners impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program, funded by the American Rescue Plan of […]

Houses passes $43.4B budget with no Democrat votes

By: - February 24, 2023

Indiana Republicans passed their $43.3 billion budget proposal without any Democrat support, with the minority party denouncing the millions earmarked to expand school vouchers. Nearly half of the budget, 48%, goes to K-12 education, which will get a boost of nearly $2 billion over its current appropriation – of which one-third will go to vouchers. […]

House votes to strip IU’s Kinsey Institute of state funding

By: - February 23, 2023

House Republicans narrowly voted to strip the Indiana University Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction of its state funding Wednesday on a 53-34 vote. Freshman Rep. Lorissa Sweet, R-Wabash, called Alfred Kinsey — who founded the research institution in 1947 — with his reports on human sexuality, a child predator who studied […]

Anti-trans medical care bill passes Senate committee

By: - February 22, 2023

A bill banning gender-affirming medical care for minors passed a Senate health committee easily on Wednesday, despite the nonstop chanting and outrage of opponents.  Under the legislation, doctors could no longer provide any “gender transition procedures,” which includes surgery – which testimony showed isn’t happening in Indiana – as well as puberty blockers and hormonal […]

Lawmakers consider issues for homeowners

By: - February 22, 2023

Lawmakers considered several bills Tuesday that impact homeowners, from property taxes to protesting at a private residence and regulations on short-term rentals. The “residential harassment” bill was the most controversial, passing by a vote of 29-16 in the Indiana Senate. Protesters seeking to picket outside of someone’s home could face a Class C misdemeanor under […]

State needs more emergency responders, takes aim at training

By: - February 20, 2023

Indiana’s emergency responders, especially volunteer firefighters, might be getting more funding for training and gear in the next state budget. Gov. Eric Holcomb’s proposed budget earmarks more than $13 million to expand training opportunities for these volunteers, most of whom work in rural counties. Currently, large swaths of the state are more than 45 minutes […]

Critics slam Morales for hiring brother-in-law

By: - February 16, 2023

New Secretary of State Diego Morales is working alongside his brother-in-law, who filled a newly created position that comes with a six-figure salary. The Indianapolis Star first broke the story Wednesday evening. Shawn Grady, Morales’ brother-in-law, is the new co-director of the Auto Dealer Services division of the agency. Previously, the division had one director […]

Prescription savings under PBMs and manufacturer rebates a source of confusion

By: - February 16, 2023

Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) were the target of senators Wednesday as they attempt to find solutions to decrease Indiana’s elevated health care costs across a series of Senate priority bills. Senate Bill 8 would require the entities to pass on rebates they receive from drug manufacturers to the patients buying medications. PBMs are third-party administrators […]