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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General News
4:56 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Zoeller Memo To Clerks: Some June Gay Marriages Might Be Invalid

If the paperwork wasn't done right (or on time), the Attorney General's office is suggesting getting another license.
Credit Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

The Indiana Attorney General’s office is warning same sex couples who got married in a narrow window in June that their marriages may not be valid.

On June 25, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Young ruled Indiana’s gay marriage ban unconstitutional -- and didn’t stay the effects of his ruling. 

Two days later, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals did halt the ruling.  And in those two days, hundreds of same sex couples across the state got marriage licenses. 

But the Attorney General’s office says some of those marriages could be invalid. 

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Government
5:06 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

GOP Lawmakers May Look To Curtail Governor's Budget-cutting Power

House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) announces his 2015 legislative priorities in the House chamber Tuesday.
Credit Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

The power of the governor to cut state funding or require agencies to send money back to the general fund could be reigned in when the General Assembly meets next session.

For years state agencies have been required to revert some of their budgets to the General Fund – essentially, cut a certain percentage of what the legislature appropriates. 

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General News
10:59 am
Mon October 13, 2014

Energy Efficiency Recommendations Do Not Include Mandates

The legislature voted to end funding for the state's energy efficiency program at the end of the year.
Credit Armistead Booker / https://www.flickr.com/photos/armisteadbooker/

Consumer advocates groups say they are disappointed the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission didn’t include any mandated energy savings goals in its recommendation to the governor.

The recommendations come after the legislature eliminated the state’s energy efficiency program.

Governor Mike Pence in March asked the IURC to deliver recommendations for a framework lawmakers could use next session to develop a new energy efficiency program.

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General News
8:13 am
Mon October 13, 2014

Indiana's First Lady Promotes Art Therapy

Indiana First Lady Karen Pence
Credit State of Indiana / http://in.gov/

Indiana First Lady Karen Pence says she wants to promote greater use of art therapy to help treat a wide variety of mental health issues in the state.  Pence is drawing from lessons learned at a Canadian art therapy training program.

On the governor’s economic development trip to Canada, Mrs. Pence visited the Toronto Art Therapy Institute, Canada’s first art therapy training program.  She says the Institute, in conjunction with a local art museum, was helping victims of domestic violence.  Pence says an art therapist takes her clients to the museum once a week to work with clay:

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Government
3:50 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

State Revenues Miss Projections For A Third Straight Month

The state has collected about $39 million less than experts thought it would for the first three months of the fiscal year.
Credit Jason Lumpkin / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jasonlumpkin/344156557

State tax revenues came in below expectations for the third consecutive month.  That puts Indiana nearly $39 million off the mark through the first quarter of the fiscal year.

Indiana came in about $5.5 million below projected levels last month, falling short in both sales tax and individual income tax. 

Yet the state notes tax revenues are growing compared to last year - they’re more than $50 million ahead of where they were in 2013 through the first three months of the fiscal year. 

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