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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David Clow / https://www.flickr.com/photos/davidclow/3876732726

Senate lawmakers have taken steps to regulate daily fantasy sports but chosen chose not to classify the practice as gambling.

A Senate bill passed easily, but the legislation’s path through the House isn’t as secure.

The Senate legislation imposed some regulation on the multi-million dollar industry, including bans on insider information and prohibiting professional athletes and officials from playing. 

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Indiana’s longest-living governor, Edgar Whitcomb, passed away Thursday at the age of 98.

Born in 1917 in southern Indiana, Edgar Whitcomb served in World War Two as a B-17 navigator.  He twice escaped from a Japanese prisoner of war camp, detailing his account in his 1958 book “Escape from Corregidor.” 

Pictures of Money / https://www.flickr.com/photos/pictures-of-money/

Last month’s state tax collections edged above projected levels as Indiana began the second half of its fiscal year. 

Indiana tax revenues have come in just below expectations for most of the fiscal year. 

But in January, collections through seven months of the fiscal year topped projections by about $7 million.  Collections in almost all tax categories last month were near their targets – sales tax came in just above predicted levels, individual income tax and gaming taxes were just off the mark. 

Felicito Rustique, Jr. / https://www.flickr.com/photos/rustique/4771313441

Legislation that would allow people to get prescriptions without an in-person exam or visit from a health care provider is headed to the Senate.  But some lawmakers aren’t comfortable taking steps forward in “telemedicine” services.

Telemedicine is health care provided remotely through, for instance, videoconferencing.  The proposed bill would allow doctors, physician assistants or advanced practice nurses to write some prescriptions for a patient without seeing them in person. 

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

House Democrats say they won’t let the LGBT rights debate die this session.

Senate lawmakers killed a bill earlier this week that aimed to protect lesbian, gay and bisexual Hoosiers from discrimination.  House Democrats are looking for ways to work the issue into another bill -- though House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) says the odds aren’t good.

The gay rights bill – Senate Bill 344 – failed to advance out of the Senate before the session’s first half deadline after Republican leadership said they couldn’t muster enough support for the measure. 

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