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.

medical authority

Bill eliminating parents’ authority over medical decisions heads to governor

By: - March 27, 2023

A bill restricting the authority of parents over medical decisions for their transgender children advanced to the governor’s desk Monday after passing the House in a 65-30 vote. In addition to the mental health impacts upon transgender youth, Democrats like Rep. Carey Hamilton decried the bill as one in a series of culture war issues […]

Benjamin Harrison site hosts “Future Presidents of America” summer camp

By: - March 27, 2023

The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site in Indianapolis will host its annual Future Presidents of America summer camp this year, one of several presidential sites across the country.  The program, designed for youths between the ages of 13 and 16, will cultivate the qualities that make for great presidents and develop confidence, civil literacy and good […]

Will transgender bill overshadow other health care efforts?

By: - March 27, 2023

Going into the 2023 legislative session, it was clear that health care costs would top the list of priorities for the General Assembly but the anti-transgender health care bill for minors appears to be overshadowing those efforts. While lawmakers have filed dozens of bills aiming to reduce health care costs — ranging from reforming prior […]

Critics question legislative process for two environmental Senate bills

By: - March 24, 2023

Environmental activists decried the legislative process for two bills Thursday, saying they clearly benefited some of the state’s most powerful while harming the average Hoosier.  “It’s shocking the extent to which the monied special interests are controlling the legislative process right now and dictating the outcomes,” said Kerwin Olson, with the Citizens Action Coalition. “We […]


State’s poorest renters hurt most by affordable housing shortage, report says

By: - March 24, 2023

Sixty-one percent of Hoosiers in extremely low-income households can’t find an affordable rental, instead spending more than half of their income on housing with little left for food or other necessities, according to a newly released analysis.  The report from Prosperity Indiana and the National Low Income Housing Coalition, “The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable […]

Senators question bill to allow pharmacists to prescribe birth control

By: - March 23, 2023

A bill that would allow pharmacists to prescribe birth control to Hoosiers saw some opposition in a Senate health committee after easily passing the House last month. Supporters contend that many Hoosiers live in areas with physician shortages but nearly all live within a few miles of a pharmacy. Slightly more than half of Indiana […]

Despite pushback, bill advancing Indiana’s carbon sequestration projects moves forward

By: and - March 22, 2023

A bill that seeks to propel Indiana’s ongoing carbon sequestration pilot project was approved Tuesday by lawmakers in the House, signaling momentum for what has so far been a divisive measure. Senate Bill 451 is part of a years-long effort to move forward the construction of carbon capture and sequestration projects, while also giving special […]

House passes ban on gender-affirming care for minors

By: - March 21, 2023

A House health committee advanced a bill Tuesday that would ban gender-affirming care for minors over the pleas of parents, doctors and transgender youth. “My child is 16 and I can tell you before he started in hormone therapy he was withdrawn, he didn’t have friends… there was a point when he didn’t leave the […]

Election bills top today’s legislative roundup

By: and - March 21, 2023

Lawmakers tackled numerous topics Monday, highlighted by key election bills and a measure that could slow the retirement of coal-fired power plants. A third bill creating a new misdemeanor crime if a person doesn’t move away from police activity also was debated. A Senate committee approved a flurry of election changes Monday, all authored by […]

Data shows mental health, education declines for Hoosier kids

By: - March 16, 2023

According to the Indiana Youth Institute, the kids are not alright.  The Hoosier State continues to lag behind its peers when it comes to child wellbeing, ranking 28th overall – just one place ahead of its ranking last year. But it has made strides in reducing the number of foster children in the state.  “Just […]

Indiana abortions drop significantly, despite pause on statewide ban

By: and - March 15, 2023

Abortions in Indiana spiked in the months following the Dobbs ruling, but the number of procedures happening across the state has since dropped nearly 50%, according to newly released state data.  The first three months after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Indiana clinics submitted an average of 1,048 terminated pregnancy reports each […]

Three utility-related bills pass the House

By: - March 14, 2023

Three bills sponsored by Rep. Ed Soliday, R-Valparaiso, could soon move to Gov. Eric Holcomb’s desk for a final signature after passing the Indiana House on Monday. Two of the bills – one establishing utility receiverships and another increasing the cap on pay that trustees on utility boards can earn – received no opposition, passing […]