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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Flazingo Photos /

Indiana’s unemployment rate declined for the eighth consecutive month in October, hitting a 14-year low in the Hoosier State. 

The Indiana unemployment rate fell to 4.4 percent last month, the lowest level since August of 2001. 

The state’s private sector added jobs for the seventh time out of nine months in 2015 – though October’s additions were modest, merely 100 jobs. 

Ruin Raider /

Indiana's Commission on Improving the Status of Children voted Wednesday not to pursue a statewide newborn safety incubator program.  But advocates of the so-called “baby boxes” say there’s hope for progress in the future.

Baby boxes, installed into the walls of “safe haven” locations, are meant to provide mothers an extra layer of anonymity when dropping off unwanted newborns. 

Quinn Dombrowski /

 Senate Republican Leader David Long Monday pledged that LGBT non-discrimination legislation will begin next session in the Senate and will get a hearing. Long also says the measure will balance equal protection with religious freedom.

Senate President Pro Tem David Long says he won’t yet talk about the specifics of an LGBT rights bill, insisting that he wants the Senate GOP caucus to examine the measure first.  Still, he stresses that religious freedom cannot be discounted in the discussion.

Jim Grey /

Republican legislative leaders won't rule out tax increases as a potential solutions for Indiana's road funding issues. 

House Speaker Brian Bosma says the GOP caucus' plan relies on three principles: that it's responsible, comprehensive and sustainable. And he says the House Republican bill would be, in his words, "loaded with options."

"People worried about voting for a potential gas increases in the future?" he asks. "Maybe it needs to happen. Registration fee on electric vehicles? Perhaps they need to pay toward our roads as well."

PT Money

Hoosiers who owe back taxes have only a few days left to take advantage of Indiana’s 2015 tax amnesty program.  The program, which began in mid-September, ends Monday and the state is on track to collect its target amount.