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
4:47 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

GOP Shakeup: Mourdock Resigns As Treasurer, Bosma Back-benches Turner

Richard Mourdock (left) and then-Sen. Richard Lugar debate during the 2012 primary election season.
Credit Darron Cummings, The Associated Press / Courtesy Indiana Debate Commission

The ranks of leadership among Republicans at the Indiana Statehouse changed dramatically Friday. 

Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock  announced his resignation, four months before his term expires. 

Then, House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) announced Rep. Eric Turner (R-Cicero) will no longer be part of the House GOP leadership team.

Mourdock's Tenure Questioned For Years

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Elections & Politics
5:46 am
Wed August 27, 2014

State Auditor Candidate Calling For Ethics Reform

Michael Claytor speaks at a press conference about what he says is a lack of ethics at the Indiana statehouse.
Credit Brandon Smith / http://www.ipbs.org/

The Democrat running for state auditor is proposing what he calls “sweeping ethics reform.”  

Michael Claytor says under Governor Mike Pence, ethics has left the statehouse.

Claytor is calling attention to what he considers several recent ethical lapses in state government:

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General News
7:47 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Lawmakers Question Whether Deer Preserves Should Be Allowed

Critics say captive deer operations threaten the state’s wild deer population.
Credit Bloomington-Monroe County Deer Task Force / https://bloomington.in.gov/deertaskforce

The showdown over high-fenced deer hunting preserves in Indiana could be coming to a head as lawmakers investigate the issue in preparation for the 2015 session. At issue is whether the preserves should have the right to operate in Indiana.

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General News
10:18 am
Tue August 19, 2014

Zoeller Proposes Military Consumer Protection Bill

(from L to R) Indiana Adjutant General Martin Umbarger, Atoorney General Greg Zoeller and Sen. Sue Glick (R-LaGrange)
Credit Brandon Smith / http://www.ipbs.org/

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller wants to enhance consumer protection measures for active-duty military service members. 

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General News
11:30 am
Mon August 18, 2014

July Employment Report Reveals More Private Sector Jobs But No Change In Jobless Rate

In July, the construction industry added about 900 jobs in Indiana.
Credit Steve Baker / https://www.flickr.com/photos/littlebiglens/

Indiana’s private sector added nearly 10 thousand jobs last month.  Yet the unemployment rate failed to drop for the fourth consecutive month.

The Hoosier private sector has added jobs for ten consecutive months, surging again in July with 99 hundred jobs created – led by the manufacturing sector, which added more than five thousand jobs. 

But the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.9 percent. 

That’s because the state’s labor force continues to swell, with about 2,500 people rejoining the job hunt last month. 

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General News
9:58 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Business Tax Commission Won't Meet Until Mid-September

Indiana Statehouse
Credit State of Indiana / http://in.gov/

A legislative study committee charged with taking an in-depth look at Indiana’s business tax climate won’t meet for the first time until mid-September. 

That’s fueling concerns among some that the commission won’t be more than a superficial examination of the issue.

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General News
11:01 am
Wed August 13, 2014

Indiana July Tax Collections Lower Than Expected

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

Indiana is beginning the new fiscal year with tax revenues below projected levels, weighed down by poor performance from corporate tax collections. 

The state struggled through much of the 2014 fiscal year that ended in June, coming in below expectations most of the year before finishing strong. 

But Indiana’s momentum stalled to begin the 2015 fiscal year, with tax collections in July a little more than five million dollars less than expected. 

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Elections & Politics
1:11 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

Process To Update Indiana's Voter Rolls Continues

Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson
Credit State of Indiana / http://www.in.gov/sos/index.htm

Indiana has identified more than 700,000 voter records that need to be updated or marked inactive in its effort to clean up the state’s voter rolls. 

Earlier this year, Secretary of State Connie Lawson’s office sent postcards to every Hoosier on the voter list.  More than 750,000 came back as undeliverable. 

A second mailing went out in June, that time asking voters to respond.  47,000 Hoosiers did, updating their voter information. 

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Environment
4:11 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

Chamber Report: Water, Water Everywhere, But How To Drink?

The report says sources such as the Ohio River mean the state has water to draw upon, as long as the infrastructure is there to transport it to Hoosiers.
Credit Jim Grey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/mobilene/476706221

Indiana will face serious challenges when it comes to water resources within the next 20 years if the state doesn’t begin correcting its issues now.  That’s according to the lead researcher in an Indiana Chamber of Commerce report released Friday.

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General News
4:47 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

UPDATE: State Unsure If It'll Appeal Atheist Celebrant Case

Credit Allison Taylor / https://www.flickr.com/photos/allison_taylor/

The Indiana Attorney General’s office says it hasn’t decided whether to appeal a ruling allowing atheist leaders to solemnize marriages in the state. 

That’s despite the group that brought the lawsuit – atheist group Center for Inquiry – announcing its victory Thursday.

Indiana’s marriage statute regulates who can make a marriage official – any religious clergy and certain government officials like mayors and judges. The Center for Inquiry filed a lawsuit in 2012 challenging the statute, saying it discriminates against non-religious people. 

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