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.

Covering $1B shortfall in Medicaid forecasting means dipping into reserves

By: - December 19, 2023

The state’s April Medicaid expenditure forecast missed the mark by roughly $984 million due to a combination of state budget reversions and unexpected growth of services for aging and disabled Hoosiers, leaving a state agency scrambling for a solution as lawmakers consider how much to cover from the state’s reserve funds. Sen. Ryan Mishler, the […]

Holcomb considers his legacy, next steps as 2023 winds down

By: - December 19, 2023

As Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb heads into his last year leading the Hoosier State, he emphasized that his administration won’t be resting on its laurels — and will continue to be aggressive about new projects.  “I think that’s my attitude and approach to life: ‘You better be looking out in front, not behind you.’ I’m […]

Constituent surveys show education, fiscal issues a focus for 2024

By: - December 15, 2023

A review of a random sampling of constituent surveys from several lawmakers appeared to show a Republican priority to tackle education topics in the upcoming legislative session, followed by fiscal concerns.  Aside from those two broad areas of concern, questions ran the gamut from health care and broadband to farmland policies and Ohio River tolls, […]

Safe storage bill sees revival following surge in youth gun shootings

By: - December 14, 2023

Trusted adults left firearms in their purses, between couch cushions, in their dressers or otherwise unsecured and loaded. Curious teenagers and toddlers alike found the weapons, killing or injuring themselves and others. Recent reports found that Indiana had the third-highest number of unintentional shootings by children so far in 2023, with nine children dead and […]

Chamber, Department of Education partner on Civics Bee

By: - December 13, 2023

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce and Indiana Department of Education announced the launch of the state’s inaugural Civics Bee Wednesday, with a goal to encourage more middle-grade Hoosiers to engage with their communities. The statewide event will be held at the Statehouse in August in conjunction with local chambers of commerce as part of the […]

Gubernatorial candidates appear together before Columbus businesses

By: - December 8, 2023

Gubernatorial candidates from both the Republican and Libertarian parties pitched their campaigns to business leaders at a forum in Columbus Friday, selling their platform to the gathered crowd during the annual meeting for the local economic development corporation.  The six candidates did not debate against one another, instead individually introducing themselves and responding to four […]

Judge finds primary law unconstitutional; grants Rust injunction

By: - December 7, 2023

A candidate for Congress won an injunction from a Marion County court late Thursday after the judge found a state law limitng who can run on a primary ballot is unconstitutional.  He also simultaneously denied the state’s motion to dismiss — a win for the underdog campaign.  “‘Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision,’” […]

Holcomb defends LEAP pipeline, prepares for last legislative session

By: - December 7, 2023

Gov. Eric Holcomb defended the timeline process for a water pipeline from Tippecanoe County to Boone County for a massive, high-tech development grounded by a multi-billion dollar investment from Eli Lilly.  Other companies coming to the area haven’t yet been announced but the Indiana Economic Development Corporation hopes to pipe millions of gallons of water […]

Chambers places economy at forefront of campaign

By: - December 6, 2023

Education, health care and China will be prongs of his campaign for governor but Brad Chambers is banking on experience in his first foray into elected office with an emphasis on business and the economy. After two years as the unpaid Indiana Secretary of Commerce, he stepped down with a goal to succeed outgoing and […]

Former Rep. Saunders publishes book on public service

By: - December 5, 2023

Former Rep. Tom Saunders, who served 13 terms in the Indiana House of Representatives, will soon release his story to the public in a new book, ‘Tom, What Are You Doing Here? Adventures In Public Service.’ Saunders, of Lewisville, will hold a book signing at the Henry County Historical Society in New Castle from 3:30 […]

State files to dismiss media legal challenge to law enforcement “buffer zone”

By: - December 5, 2023

The state’s highest legal office filed to dismiss a challenge Friday from a group of media entities to the state’s “buffer zone” law, which creates a 25-foot zone around law enforcement officers during certain activities.  In a joint filing with Marion County public safety authorities, the Attorney General’s office cites a similar case moving through […]

Court dismisses Rokita suits against TikTok

By: - November 30, 2023

Nearly a year after filing two lawsuits against TikTok, Attorney General Todd Rokita’s challenge against the company and its parent ByteDance has been dismissed by an Allen County judge.  Rokita alleged the popular app misrepresented its safety for children and data protection efforts. An office spokesperson for Rokita said the agency is considering appellate options. […]