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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Health
3:44 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Dept. Of Insurance Warns Of Healthcare Marketplace Scam

Officials say if you're being asked for a credit card number, you're NOT talking to the government.
Credit courtesy Healthcare.gov

The Indiana Department of Insurance is warning people purchasing health care on the federal marketplace to be on the lookout for scammers. 

Open enrollment in the federal marketplace known as Healthcare.gov began earlier this month.  More than a hundred thousand Hoosiers enrolled last year. 

Department of Insurance Chief Actuary Karl Knable says people re-enrolling or seeking insurance on the marketplace for the first time should be alert about potential scams. 

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Education
4:30 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

State Supreme Court Weighing Costs Of School Busing

The case came about after an Indianapolis district tried to make parents pay extra for their kids' bus rides to school.
Credit Larry Darling / https://www.flickr.com/photos/tncountryfan/

Does the Indiana Constitution require public schools to offer free transportation to their students?  That’s the question being considered by the state Supreme Court. 

Indianapolis' Franklin Township school system eliminated its busing service three years ago, saying property tax caps had squeezed the school corporation’s finances. 

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General News
12:40 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Fuel Tax Changes Recommended To Help INDOT Funding Needs

Chamber of Commerce CEO Kevin Brinegar suggests a fee for owners of hybrids and electric cars, to make up for the loss in fuel taxes.
Credit Chrysler Group

The Indiana Department of Transportation is in the middle of a comprehensive two-year study to determine its future infrastructure funding needs. 

But Chamber of Commerce CEO Kevin Brinegar says there are some changes the legislature can make right away that will help move the state in the right direction.

He says that includes some sort of assessment on alternative-fuel vehicles, whose drivers don’t pay as much in fuel taxes as most people.

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General News
1:06 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

State’s Private Sector Adds Five Thousand Jobs In October

Indiana’s private sector added more than 5,000 jobs last month.
Credit Flickr

Indiana’s private sector added more than 5,000 jobs last month while the state’s unemployment rate remained at its lowest levels in six years.

The Hoosier private sector grew by 5,500 jobs in October, boosted by strong gains in the trade, transportation and utilities sector and continued growth in manufacturing jobs.

In the past year, the state added more than 24,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector, one of the best growth rates in the country. The unemployment rate last month remained unchanged from September, holding steady at 5.7 percent.

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General News
10:34 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Republican Legislators Say Focus Will Be On Education In New Session

Education will be a priority for Indiana's Republican legislators in their upcoming session.
Credit NYC Department of Education / http://schools.nyc.gov/default.htm

When House Republicans unveiled their legislative agenda last month, increasing public education funding was near the top of the list.

During his address at the swearing in ceremony for House members, Speaker Brian Bosma told lawmakers the GOP will support initiatives to ensure dollars are spent in the classroom.

“And the first is an effort to compensate teachers without the administrative middleman and the second is an effort to cut administrative costs,” he says.

Bosma notes that for every dollar the state spends on education, 43 cents is spent on administration.

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