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
5:30 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Legislation Would Make It Easier For Midwives To Work In Indiana

Credit Sandor Weisz / https://www.flickr.com/photos/santheo/

The House last week easily approved legislation aimed at making it easier for midwives to operate legally in Indiana.  But the bill’s future is less certain in the Senate.

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Health
6:15 am
Fri February 27, 2015

After Its Defeat, Governor Calls HPV Vaccination Bill Government Overreach

The governor says the job of the bill is better left to parents.
Credit Kreg Steppe / https://www.flickr.com/photos/spyndle/535493117

Governor Mike Pence says he lobbied against legislation encouraging more young people to get vaccinated against human papilloma virus, or HPV, because of concerns about government mandates. 

The proposed House bill, authored by Rep. Sue Erringto (D-Muncie), set a goal for the state to have 80 percent of 13-to-15 year olds vaccinated against HPV by 2020. 

HPV is a virus linked to several forms of cancer, including cervical cancer, and only around 20-percent of Hoosiers are currently vaccinated against it. 

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Government
3:10 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Pence: I'm Against Gambling Expansion (But What Does 'Expansion' Mean, Anyway?)

The governor has been very vague about his opposition, leaving any gambling legislation in limbo if it's passed.
Credit Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Governor Mike Pence says he’s opposed to expansion of gaming in Indiana but won’t tell the public how he defines expansion.

This year's gaming bill allows riverboats to move inland on existing property, gives casinos a tax credit for new construction, and allows racetrack casinos to switch out some of their electronic games with tables that have live dealers. 

Though a House committee included extensive tax changes to the bill, those changes were taken out before the measure left the House this week -- and that’s something Governor Pence takes credit for.

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Business
3:55 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

House Approves Gaming Bill, But Senate Uncertainty Awaits

The issue of adding live dealers at racinos may be the biggest hurdle in the Senate.
Credit Lisa Brewster / https://www.flickr.com/photos/sophistechate/2670946312

Legislation aimed at helping Indiana’s struggling gaming industry easily cleared the House Wednesday.  But its path to final approval may be more difficult.

The gaming bill would allow riverboats to move on land, give casinos a ten percent tax credit for new construction, and allow racetrack casinos to replace some of their electronic table games with table games that have live dealers. 

The bill’s outcome became less certain this week when Governor Mike Pence objected to the live dealers as an unwanted expansion of gaming. 

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General News
7:07 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Finger Pointing Follows Death Of Sunday Alcohol Sales Bill

Credit Lalo Martins / https://www.flickr.com/photos/lalomartins/

The author of legislation legalizing Sunday alcohol sales declared the bill dead Tuesday after he couldn’t muster enough votes to pass it out of the House.  Groups on either side of the issue are pointing fingers at each other over who’s to blame for its failure:

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