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.

Holcomb promotes workforce training resources

By: - January 8, 2024

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb announced a statewide campaign to promote the state’s workforce training resources, all compiled under the “One Stop to Start” website. “The overall goal of ‘One Stop to Start’ is to make sure that Hoosiers have awareness of and access to the programs that can get them on that path to realizing […]

Summer EBT program to help hungry children

By: - January 8, 2024

A growing number of states, tribal nations and territories will offer nutrition assistance permanently for the first time this summer and an estimated 669,000 Hoosier children will benefit from the program, which provides grocery benefits to families with school-aged children.  Advocates with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which oversees the effort, believe that […]

Rokita files response in disciplinary case

By: - January 5, 2024

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita submitted a new and bombastic filing on Wednesday accusing the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission of caving to outside pressure in a “political melee,” saying it could no longer give him fair treatment. “The Commission needs to be disentangled from ongoing politics driven by political commentators. If the Commission is […]

Hill promises ban on BMV personal data sales if elected

By: - January 5, 2024

Gubernatorial candidate and former Attorney General Curtis Hill said that, if elected, he would sign an executive order prohibiting the sale of personal data by government agencies — including the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV), which made $26 million on such sales in 2023. “Hoosier privacy matters,” Hill said in a release. “The sale of […]

Hatfield won’t seek re-election; running for judge instead

By: - January 4, 2024

A seventh House member announced he will not seek re-election in the fall, joining the growing list of House members opting to pursue other opportunities. Evansville Rep. Ryan Hatfield, a Democrat, announced Thursday he will run for Vanderburgh County Circuit Court Judge, making 2024 his last session after seven years in the General Assembly. “Serving […]

IEDC reports nearly $29B in 2023 investments

By: - January 4, 2024

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) and top state leaders touted its 2023 successes as the year closed, claiming a “seventh consecutive record-breaking year” of investments and business commitments that included nearly $29 billion in investments from 208 companies.  The quasi-governmental organization had a major leadership change in 2023, with Brad Chambers stepping down as […]

Local health departments start getting state funds for public health

By: - January 3, 2024

Eighty-six counties covering nearly 96% of Hoosiers have started receiving $75 million of state funds dedicated to improving public health outcomes under the Health First Indiana (HFI) program, an initiative approved and funded in the 2023 legislative session. “The work began in 2021 with the formation of the Governor’s Public Health Commission, the support for […]

Indiana GOP files brief against Rust in primary challenge

By: - January 3, 2024

The Indiana Republican State Committee filed an amicus brief last week supporting a law that limits who can run under major party banners in Indiana. U.S. Senate candidate John Rust is challenging the statute because it prevents him from filing as a Republican against party favorite Jim Banks, a U.S. Representative. The 2021 law bars […]

Employers, community groups get $18.1M in child care grants

By: - January 2, 2024

Dozens of businesses, community groups and school corporations around the state will receive grants geared toward shoring up the state’s beleaguered child care system after lawmakers established a $25 million fund in 2023. The $18.1 million award to 64 entities in late December is the first wave of applicants to receive grants and qualifies for […]

A quieter year for health care bills

By: - December 28, 2023

After several years with back-to-back, complex health care legislation, stakeholders still believe there’s work to be done while allowing for in-progress initiatives to mature.  The upcoming session will be a non-budget year in which leaders have urged their members to prioritize emergency legislation and speed — a move that would grant the 125 General Assembly […]

Early learning committee recommends new child care standards

By: - December 21, 2023

The Early Learning Advisory Committee (ELAC) voted Wednesday to advance a new set of standards for evaluating child care centers around the state, with an anticipated three-year rollout starting in 2024.  Recommendations will be sent to relevant state divisions housed in the Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) as well as the governor’s office, which […]

Democrats critical of cryptic IEDC spending requests

By: - December 20, 2023

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), a quasi-public state agency tasked with recruiting companies and bolstering the state’s economic growth, outlined nearly $300 million in spending requests before the State Budget Committee Tuesday but continued to hedge when asked directly about state dollars spent on often secretive deals.  The $294 million total ask covers six […]