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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Government
5:14 am
Mon April 27, 2015

Legislators: Revenue Decrease Likely Won't Affect Budget Surplus

Lawmakers had said for weeks they'd wait until an April budget forecast to put the finishing touches on the budget.
Credit Keith Cooper / https://www.flickr.com/photos/cooperweb/8363160192

With only three days left in session, lawmakers are crafting a final version of the budget, and doing so with less money than they’d planned. 

Senate Leader David Long (R-Fort Wayne) and House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) both say money for K-12 education is safe – the $466 million increase in both House and Senate budgets will remain intact. 

And Long says they’re standing firm on maintaining a strong budget reserve.

“I think it’s important to do that given our recent memories of how tough it was when the recession hit,” Long says.

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General News
12:03 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

Amendment Halts Progress Of Ethics Reform Bill

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

With less than a week left in the session, legislative leaders say an amendment to the ethics reform bill added by the full Senate is holding up the legislation’s progress.  

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Transportation
4:27 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

INDOT Chief Karl Browning Abruptly Resigns

Governor Mike Pence would not comment on why INDOT's leader was leaving.
Credit Bill Shaw / Indiana Public Broadcasting

The Indiana Department of Transportation has new leadership after Commissioner Karl Browning stepped down without any public warning Wednesday.

Browning has led INDOT since 2013, and previously served as Commissioner from 2006 to 2009. 

Browning submitted his resignation via email to the governor Wednesday morning, saying he was proud of his accomplishments but that it was, “time to move on.” 

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General News
8:41 am
Wed April 22, 2015

Effort To Drug Test Welfare Recipients Is Likely Dead

For the fourth session in a row, legislative language creating a program to drug test welfare recipients appears dead.
Credit Smussyolay / https://www.flickr.com/photos/smussyolay/

For the fourth session in a row, legislative language creating a program to drug test welfare recipients appears dead. The author of this year’s version has changed his mind about passing the measure in its current form.

Rep. Terry Goodin, D-Crothersville, last week crafted an amendment to a health care bill that would allow the state to randomly drug test welfare recipients. But in a conference committee hearing on the bill Tuesday, Goodin said several organizations, including community and mental health advocates, expressed concerns about his proposal.

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Business
6:18 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Indiana's Unemployment Rate, Job Pool Shrank In March

A couple industry sectors saw huge losses last month.
Credit Flazingo Photos / https://www.flickr.com/photos/124247024@N07/

Indiana’s unemployment rate fell in March to its lowest level in five months.  But the state’s private sector also lost jobs.

The Hoosier unemployment rate fell one-tenth of a percent to 5.8-percent in March, the second month in a row the rate went down.  But it's still three-tenths of a percent higher than the national average of 5.5-percent.

But that drop may not be good news: the state’s private sector lost 800 jobs last month, fueled by huge losses – more than 5,000 – in the professional and business services sector. 

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