Brandon Smith

IPBS Statehouse Reporter

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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Joe Donnelly

Not long after the arrest last week of a Brownsburg teen accused of trying to join the Islamic State, U-S Senator Joe Donnelly met with FBI officials in Indianapolis Monday.

Donnelly says the FBI is working hard to protect Hoosiers but didn’t give any specifics, saying his meeting with the FBI centered on the bureau’s counterterrorism efforts, coordination with local law enforcement and what it needs from Congress.

But Donnelly provided few details about those efforts or an estimate of the number of homegrown terrorism investigations in Indiana.

Brandon Smith

Hundreds of America’s mayors are in Indiana this weekend for the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ annual conference.

They’re calling for Congress and the presidential candidates to support the nation’s cities.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake leads the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Kicking off the group’s annual meeting, she emphasized the importance of metropolitan hubs to the nation’s economy.

Derek Key / https://www.flickr.com/photos/derekskey/

A multi-agency team – including judges, prosecutors, public defenders, mental health professionals and law enforcement – are using data-driven pilot programs to enact criminal justice reforms and improvements. 

But the end-results could be a generation away.

Peter Anderson / https://www.flickr.com/photos/dubswede/

Under a guilty plea earlier this year for misdemeanor intimidation, James Wesley Howell was supposed to forfeit all his guns. 

But Clark County probation officers only took one of them.

Two months after the guilty plea, Howell was arrested in California with three assault rifles and chemicals for making explosives.  Democratic Representative Ed DeLaney (D-Indianapolis) calls it a systemic failure at every level.

Indiana Democrats on Saturday slated their candidates for the November 8 general election.

John Gregg and Christina Hale officially accepted their nominations for governor and lieutenant governor, respectively. 

Gregg, a former Indiana House speaker, and Hale, a state representative, laid out their own proposals and backgrounds as they addressed more than two thousand delegates at the Democratic state convention in Indianapolis

But they talked more about what they call the failings of the Pence administration. 

Lynn Friedman / https://www.flickr.com/photos/lynnfriedman/18263113926

The number of unemployed Hoosiers decreased last month, the first time Indiana’s jobless rate has declined since September of last year.

The unemployment rate went down two-tenths of a percent in May, falling to five percent.

That’s the largest one-month decline in more than a year. 

Alan Cleaver / https://www.flickr.com/photos/alancleaver/

Indiana came closer than it’s ever come during the last session to joining the ranks of states with bias crime, or hate crime laws. 

Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Brandon Smith frames the debate over the legislation, including the difficult road it faces going forward.

Indiana came closer than it’s ever come during the 2016 legislative session to joining the ranks of states with bias crime, or hate crime, laws. 

Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Brandon Smith frames the debate on the legislation, including the difficult road it faces going forward.

Noah Coffey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/noahwesley/

Indiana’s Senate immigration study committee shifted its focus in its third meeting Wednesday to the impact of both legal and illegal immigration on the workforce. 

The committee heard testimony from a variety of sources: business organizations, immigration attorneys and people who’ve gone through the immigration process. And a common theme surfaced. 

Here’s Indianapolis immigration attorney Angela Adams:

“It’s largely up to the federal government to solve this quagmire of immigration policy.”

Mike Ripley from the Indiana Chamber of Commerce:

Weiss Paarz / https://www.flickr.com/photos/141290938

The Indiana Solicitor General says the state’s new abortion law requiring fetal remains to be either cremated or buried is about ensuring respect for life.

The ACLU of Indiana says it’s irrational to treat fetal remains the same as human remains.  

Indiana’s new abortion law says medical facilities, including abortion clinics, must cremate or bury aborted or miscarried fetal remains, not dispose of them as medical waste (as has been the case under state law). 

Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Gregg Monday released a lengthy, detailed proposal he says will help spur Indiana’s economic growth.  And Gregg says it’s a plan that won’t require any new or increased taxes, relying instead on shifting existing resources.

The Gregg campaign’s 35-point plan includes proposals focused on building a skilled workforce, growing small businesses and streamlining economic development efforts. 

Gregg says those proposals, if put into action, would be judged by evaluating a series of key metrics.

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