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.

Indiana unemployment rate remains at 3.1%

By: - March 13, 2023

Indiana’s unemployment rate stayed at 3.1% for the second month in a row, according to a release from the Department of Workforce Development (DWD). The 3.1% rate is a slight increase from January 2022, when unemployment hit 2.4%. However, Indiana’s unemployment rate is still lower than the national average, which fell from 3.5% in December […]

Indiana’s part-time legislature is full-time work for some

By: and - March 13, 2023

Indiana has a part-time citizen legislature but roughly two dozen lawmakers indicated on the latest statement of economic interest forms filed in January that the legislature is their sole employer and reported no outside work. Sen. Jean Breaux, D-Indianapolis, said she applied for many jobs outside of the General Assembly but several employers saw her […]

Report finds family caregivers provide $10.8 billion in unreimbursed care in Indiana

By: - March 10, 2023

An estimated 790,000 Hoosiers provide more than 740 million hours of care to their elders as family caregivers, a service which the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) values at more than $10.8 billion. Most Americans are unprepared for long-term care as they age, relying heavily upon family caregivers to provide the support and assistance […]

Rokita targets medical providers giving care to transgender minors

By: - March 7, 2023

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita on Tuesday inserted himself into the debate over gender-affirming care for minors – though recent testimony documented that surgeries on children don’t occur in Indiana.  He said there have been “a series of disturbing reports” nationally alleging such procedures and sent letters to several Indiana medical facilities demanding more information […]

Bill creating 25-foot “buffer zone” between police and bystanders advances

By: - March 7, 2023

A Republican-led Senate corrections committee voted along party lines, 5-2, to advance a bill that would create a 25-foot “buffer zone” between law enforcement and bystanders. House Bill 1186 previously passed a House committee with unanimous approval – though some Democrats flipped their votes when the bill appeared before the full House Chamber, where it […]

House lawmakers create home kits for former foster youth

By: - March 7, 2023

Roughly 150 foster youth living independently for the first time will soon get a little help from House lawmakers. Following the donation of over 3,200 items, legislators gathered Tuesday to pack bags of household supplies for foster youth across the state – including kitchen towels, spatulas, dishes and more. The event, co-hosted with the IARCA […]

Budget alters salary calculations and public health allocations

By: - March 7, 2023

The House version of the proposed budget contains a few interesting stand-alone items outside of the K-12 funding boost that heavily favors vouchers and ongoing support for the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.  Smaller changes could have big impacts for lawmakers, as the bill’s language would change the formula used to calculate pay raises for many […]

First Lady Jill Biden visits Valparaiso

By: - March 7, 2023

Ivy Tech Community College in Valparaiso welcomed First Lady Jill Biden and other federal officials Monday in a visit highlighting the “affordable pathways to good-paying jobs” at the institutions for higher learning. Biden greeted students and faculty, specifically those involved in renewable energy and technology programs. Both high school and college students had the opportunity […]

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 […]