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.

Doctor who provided minor abortion care sues AG Rokita for “baseless investigation”

By: - November 3, 2022

Two Indianapolis doctors — including one at the center of a controversial abortion case over the summer — filed suit Thursday against Attorney General Todd Rokita to block his office from continuing a “baseless investigation into physicians who provide abortion care.” The suit claims Rokita overstepped his statutory limits when investigating Dr. Caitlin Bernard, using […]

FSSA launches campaign for at-risk youth

By: - November 2, 2022

The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration announced Wednesday it would start a statewide program to support Hoosier youth at-risk for alcohol and substance misuse by building up a stronger sense of self. The Believe in You campaign will help youth develop mental strength, positive thinking, coping techniques and self-control – areas that increase a […]

Could Indiana pursue a ban on gender-affirming care for minors?

By: - November 2, 2022

Republican-held states across the country are pursuing bans regulating access for minors seeking gender-affirming healthcare, including total bans in Arkansas, Alabama and Texas, leading some to wonder if Indiana is next. The Washington Post reported that 2022 saw the largest number of proposed anti-trans laws in recent history, 155 bills compared to just 19 in […]

Rainy Day funds solid nationally but fortunes may change

By: - November 1, 2022

Indiana’s surplus might seem massive but the state could operate only 33 days using nothing but rainy day funds — lower than the national median of 42.5 days, according to 2022 data analyzed by Pew Charitable Trusts.  In Fiscal Year 2019, states could operate their governments using only their rainy day funds for an average […]

DACA recipients seek Congressional action to protect them

By: - October 31, 2022

After 20 years of living in the United States, Pamela Chomba and her sister — both DACA recipients — decided it was time to buy a house where they lived in Washington D.C. But that same year, 2021, a lower court judge in Texas made a decision that threatened to upend their whole lives when […]

Competitive races in the Indiana Statehouse

By: - October 28, 2022

Republican and Democrat strategists alike are buckling down in the final weeks before Election Day, targeting competitive races in the House Chamber with the hopes of growing their parties’ influence at the Statehouse. Similar to the Senate, Republicans identified several House Democrat seats they’ve targeted to flip but, unlike the other chamber, Democrats seem focused […]

Commission recommends new funding model for higher education

By: - October 27, 2022

Legislators will consider a new approach to funding higher education based on school-specific goals rather than blanket recommendations, and they got their first look at Wednesday morning’s State Budget Committee meeting. The proposed funding model comes from the Commission for Higher Education, which the General Assembly tasked with researching a new formula to cover costs […]

Indiana Right to Life voter guide less transparent after abortion moves

By: - October 26, 2022

The state’s leading anti-abortion organization, Indiana Right to Life (IRTL), has released its latest voter guide for Hoosiers seeking information on candidates but some decry the lack of transparency in changes to the scorecard. The 2022 survey, distributed to candidates running for federal or state offices, is markedly different from its 2020 counterpart. The 2020 […]

Republicans aim to flip “safe” Democrat seats

By: - October 26, 2022

With just a few weeks before Election Day, and early voting already underway, Republicans aim for a smattering of seats in the State Senate that they believe they can flip, largely putting Democrats on the defensive. At the very least, Republican strategists seem to think the races will be much more competitive than Democrats initially […]

Campaign filings reveal party, caucus priorities

By: - October 25, 2022

The latest campaign filings filtered in last week, showing which races and candidates are having the most fundraising success as well as which state senators and representatives are struggling to attract voters. Republican Secretary of State candidate Diego Morales has weathered several controversies during his campaign, but still emerged from the third fundraising quarter with […]

GOP leaders discuss funding for mental health

By: - October 24, 2022

Republican leaders seemed optimistic they could secure funding for mental health during the 2023 budget-writing session, despite the numerous priorities warring for monies from the state’s healthy surplus. “I don’t think (Hoosiers) should be worried and I’m not being cavalier about this,” Gov. Eric Holcomb said Friday about mental health funding. “Will we be able […]

Lawmakers hear testimony on hospital, pharmacy concentration

By: - October 21, 2022

Health economic researchers from the University of California, Berkeley on Thursday shared their analysis of Indiana’s healthcare markets — determining that the concentration of insurers and hospitals has contributed to higher costs over the last decade. Prices at non-merged hospitals, for instance, remained relatively flat over the time period they analyzed, while those entities that […]