Brandon Smith

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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News
4:14 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Zoeller Set to Promote Lifeline Law for Underage Drinkers

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller poses with a tag promoting the state's Lifeline law, which gives legal immunity to minors seeking medical attention for other drunk minors.
Credit Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Attorney General Greg Zoeller and State Senator Jim Merritt will be touring Indiana high schools and colleges again this year promoting an expansion to the state’s Lifeline law.

The original Lifeline law provided immunity from underage drinking charges for minors that seek medical attention for other drunk minors. 

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Politics & Government
2:16 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Committee Eyes Streamlined Adoption Process

A study committee this summer will look at streamlining Indiana’s adoption process to further Governor Mike Pence’s goal of promoting adoption in the state.

Legislation passed this year funds a new adoption tax credit, about one thousand dollars per adopted child.  It also creates an adoption study committee made up of people with experience in the field, including representatives from the Department of Child Services and adoption agencies, adoptive parents, and judges with adoption case experience. 

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News
5:58 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

$200 Million in Road Projects Could Begin This Year

Work to expand some of Indiana’s major highways could begin as early as this year after Governor Mike  Pence Thursday announced the release of $200 million to fund road construction. 

Legislation signed by the governor releases $200 million in transportation funding that was set  aside in last year’s budget. 

The money will be used to add lanes to Interstate 65 in two areas – just  south of Indianapolis and around Lafayette. Companies will bid for the contracts later this year and  work could begin late this year or early next year. 

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News
3:52 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Pence Pushes for New Energy Efficiency Program

Governor Mike Pence says he’s encouraged by the response he’s received from lawmakers as he  pushes for a new energy efficiency program. The program would replace Energizing Indiana, which was eliminated by legislation Pence allowed to  become law Thursday.

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Politics & Government
5:05 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Pence Signs Pre-K Pilot Bill

Gov. Mike Pence signed the pre-K pilot bill Thursday at DayStar Childcare Ministries in Indianapolis.
Credit Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Governor Mike Pence signed legislation Thursday to create a preschool pilot program he says is the beginning of a new chapter of hope and opportunity for Indiana’s disadvantaged children.

The program will provide anywhere between two thousand and six thousand dollars per child so low-income Hoosier kids in five counties can attend a high quality preschool program.  Governor Pence signed the bill at DayStar Childcare Ministries in Indianapolis. 

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News
6:25 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Indiana's Attorney General Says Fate of Gay Marriage Should Be Determined By Judges

Attorney General Greg Zoeller says the judicial system is the right place for the fate of Indiana’s gay  marriage ban statute to be decided. 

During the legislative debate over HJR-3, the proposed constitutional amendment banning same sex  marriage, lawmakers often said the purpose of the amendment was to provide added protection for  Indiana’s marriage statute, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

The common  refrain from people like Speaker Brian Bosma was that the question of marriage in Indiana shouldn’t be  decided by one person.

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News
5:15 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Mixed News As Indiana Unemployment Rate Drops

Indiana’s unemployment rate dropped to its lowest level in five and a half years, now lower than the national rate, even as the state’s private sector lost jobs in January.

The Indiana unemployment rate fell nearly half a percent in January, its largest one-month drop in 20 years.  Its rate of 6.4 percent is the lowest since September 2008 and the first time the state’s rate has been below the national average in nearly two years. 

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Education
5:18 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Once Thought Dead, Pre-K Pilot Bill Gets Approval

Empty chambers at the Indiana House of Representatives.
Credit Courtesy / Wikimedia Commons

The House Thursday approved a preschool pilot program after it was seemingly left for dead just two weeks ago.

Speaker Brian Bosma says creation of the pre-k pilot wouldn’t have been possible without a funding mechanism crafted by the Senate.  The program can use up to $10 million in existing funds from the Family and Social Services Administration, while at least ten percent and up to 50 percent of that in matching funds must come from private sources. 

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Politics & Government
3:38 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Lawmakers Hear Testimony on Hoosier Gun Bill

Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, testified Monday against a bill allowing guns on school property.
Credit Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Legislation that would allow guns to be locked in cars on school property is attracting national attention.  The head of an anti-gun violence group testified Monday in a committee hearing on the bill.

Proposed legislation would allow licensed gun owners to keep their guns locked in their cars on school property, which is currently a felony. 

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News
6:37 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

No Local Money in Roads Funding Bill

Senate President Pro Tem David Long says it’s unlikely the General Assembly will include any local  funding in legislation freeing up transportation dollars. 

In last year’s budget, the General Assembly put aside 400 million dollars into a transportation fund to be  used for major projects in the future. In response to a request by the governor, proposed legislation this  session would release at least some of the money to the executive branch for construction now. 

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