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.

Westville Correctional Facility project sees cost increases

By: - July 6, 2022

The General Assembly approved $400 million in the 2022 session to demolish and replace the aging Westville Correctional Facility, but that money might not be enough. The Indiana Department of Correction requested $25 million last week to complete the schematic design for the facility, which can house more than 3,400 offenders, but doesn’t yet have […]

Personal struggles drive treasurer candidates

By: - July 6, 2022

After a narrow convention win, the Indiana Republican Party’s nominee for State Treasurer, Daniel Elliott, will face uncontested Democratic nominee, Jessica McClellan, in November.  The state office is open because current Treasurer Kelly Mitchell is not allowed to seek a third consecutive term. Elliott won by just three votes on June 18, clinching the majority […]

Republic vs. Democracy

By: - July 5, 2022

INDIANAPOLIS – The 1,800 state delegates to the Republican State Convention last month did more than nominate a slate of candidates in June. Observers took pause when the political insiders called to strip the word democracy from the party’s platform and replace the term with republic, with some wondering if the choice had broader implications. […]

Public Health Commission approves draft recommendations

By: - July 1, 2022

The Governor’s Public Health Commission voted Thursday to approve a draft report of recommendations for improving Indiana’s public health system, pending edits. Ultimately the commission will urge state legislators to invest $250 million into Indiana’s public health system, which ranks in the bottom ten systems of the nation. Areas of focus include: data and information […]

Wesco, Doden call for adoption fund

By: - June 30, 2022

Rep. Tim Wesco, R-Osceola and Eric Doden, a GOP candidate for governor, call for the General Assembly to establish a $100 million adoption fund to cover fees for families while in upcoming special session. “Indiana should lead the nation in protecting life and providing for mothers and families who choose adoption,” Wesco said. “Life is […]

State accounting for billions in federal aid

By: - June 30, 2022

INDIANAPOLIS – Billions of dollars in federal aid came to Indiana over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, helping to stabilize governments and keep the economy moving. The state spent nearly all of its coronavirus stimulus money and is now attempting to use a dwindling pot to cover increased cost estimates for capital improvement projects […]

Gay teacher fired

Supreme Court hears arguments in Catholic school gay teacher firing

By: - June 29, 2022

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Supreme Court weighed arguments Tuesday over the firing of a gay teacher from an Indianapolis Catholic school, determining whether the Archdiocese of Indianapolis ‘unjustifiably’ interfered with the teacher’s contract. Joshua Payne-Elliott married his partner in 2017 while a German teacher at Cathedral High School, a Catholic school under the purview of […]

Can social services handle abortion-ban baby bump?

By: - June 28, 2022

INDIANAPOLIS – From diapers and formula to childcare access, advocates say Indiana lags when it comes to providing services and supports that will see an increase in demand if abortion is banned.  With the legislature calling for a special session to curtail access to abortion following the U.S. Supreme Court decision, thousands more Hoosier children […]

inflation building

Inflation hits state capital, infrastructure projects

By: - June 28, 2022

INDIANAPOLIS – Ever-increasing prices at the pump and grocery store checkout line aren’t the only places where Hoosiers can see the impact of inflation – state building projects are also feeling the budgetary strain. Pent-up demand for delayed services and supply chains disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic continue to drive inflation upward, reaching 8.6% over […]

Commission says $250M investment needed for public health

By: - June 28, 2022

INDIANAPOLIS – A commission tasked with reviewing Indiana’s public health infrastructure has found spending per capita lags and is set to pitch a significant investment. The weakness of Indiana’s public health system became glaringly obvious during the COVID-19 pandemic, when part-time local health departments in rural areas didn’t have the resources to educate their communities […]

Fred Payne leaves DWD to join United Way

By: - June 28, 2022

After a four-year term heading an agency vital to Hoosiers during the tumultuous COVID-19 pandemic, Fred Payne will leave the Department of Workforce Development to be the next CEO and president of the United Way of Central Indiana. “The United Way of Central Indiana has been instrumental in helping our communities address some of the […]

Congress sends Biden historic gun safety legislation, with GOP support

By: and - June 28, 2022

WASHINGTON — Indiana’s Republican U.S. senators split on a comprehensive federal gun safety bill that cleared Congress last week – a bipartisan package that President Joe Biden immediately signed into law. In a 65-33  vote, the bill, comprised of eight provisions, passed the U.S. Senate late Thursday. The House on Friday joined, approving the Senate’s bill 234-193, with […]