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
4:51 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

State And IBM Going Before Indiana Supreme Court Thursday

A trial court found in IBM's favor, but the Indiana Courts of Appeals reversed that decision.
Credit Phil Jern / https://www.flickr.com/photos/pjern/5932984588

The ongoing legal battle between the state and computer giant IBM will have its day in front of the Indiana Supreme Court Thursday. 

The state hired IBM in 2006 to modernize its welfare system, signing a ten-year contract worth $1.3 billion. 

But the shift from human case workers to greater automation was beset by reported problems, and three years later Governor Mitch Daniels canceled the contract. 

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Transportation
3:39 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

Hoosier State Line Ridership Down, Even As Amtrak Adds Riders Nationally

Trains station's like Lafayette's have been quieter during the last year.
Credit James Britton / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jbritton/2830693569

Ridership on the Hoosier State Rail Line dropped nearly eight-percent over the last year, while ticket revenues declined more than ten-percent.

Ridership on Amtrak lines across the country rose in the last fiscal year, which ended in September.  But on the Hoosier State Line, which runs from Chicago to Indianapolis, ridership fell by nearly 3,000 people, down to just less than 34,000. 

And ticket revenues dropped nearly $100,000, settling at a little more than $800,000 last year. 

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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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