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
5:54 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

Governor Pence Unveils His 2014 Legislative Agenda

Indiana Governor Mike Pence.
Credit Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Governor Mike Pence’s 2014 legislative agenda is full of proposals that would increase spending while curtailing state tax revenues heading into a non-budget session of the General Assembly. That agenda includes a phase-out of the state’s business personal property tax.

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Education
2:18 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

Email from Pence's Education Agency Suggested Reducing Ritz's Power

Indiana Superintendent for Public Instruction Glenda Ritz.

State Superintendent Glenda Ritz says emails from Governor Pence’s new education agency reveal an attempt to oust her as State Board of Education Chair. But Pence administration officials say that attempt is going nowhere.

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Education
11:02 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Lawmakers Explore More Autonomy for IPFW

Credit Courtesy / Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne

State lawmakers say the legislature could give Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne more autonomy and flexibility in funding and degree offerings.

A legislative study committee was tasked this year with investigating the governance structure of the state’s regional university campuses.  And though its initial focus was broad, the committee has narrowed in on one location – IPFW, the state’s fifth largest college campus. 

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Politics & Government
11:59 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Pelath Wants State to Speed Up Bennett Investigation

Indiana House Minority Leader Scott Pelath is raising questions about the speed of the state's investigation into former Indiana Superintendent Tony Bennett's grade changing controversy.
Credit Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Indiana House Minority Leader Scott Pelath says he sees no sense of urgency from the state Inspector General in the investigation into the school grade changing scandal involving former State Superintendent Tony Bennett.

Reports first surfaced in late July that former Indiana Superintendent Tony Bennett altered school accountability letter grades in 2012 after an Indianapolis charter school – a favorite of Bennett’s team – would have received a mediocre rating. Multiple investigations have been launched into the matter, including one by the Indiana Inspector General.

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Politics & Government
12:42 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

New Works Councils Face Tight Deadline

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.
Credit Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Indiana’s new Regional Works Councils have a deadline fast approaching – but only one of the 11 councils has met.

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News
10:55 am
Mon September 23, 2013

State Police Target Marijuana Trafficking

Hoosiers will see an increased police presence on Indiana highways this week as state troopers join five other states for a crackdown on illegal drug transportation.

It’s called the Six State Trooper Project – a joint effort of law enforcement in Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Indiana.  In the past, the project has focused on things such as impaired driving and seatbelt usage.  This week’s focus is marijuana trafficking on state highways. 

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Politics & Government
1:27 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Group Vows to Fight Gay Marriage Ban

Indiana Equality Action President Chris Paulsen speaks to supporters at Freedom Indiana's Wednesday launch.
Credit Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

A bipartisan coalition of community, faith and business leaders opposing Indiana’s proposed amendment banning same sex marriage is promising a well-funded campaign against lawmakers who support the measure.

The General Assembly approved a constitutional amendment in 2011 banning same-sex marriage.  The legislature must pass it again next year.  Then it would go to the voters in the 2014 November general election. 

The newly-formed Freedom Indiana is vowing to fight its passage. 

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Politics & Government
11:24 am
Wed August 7, 2013

State to Help Disabled Offenders Reintegrate After Prison

A new collaboration between the Indiana Department of Correction and a division of the state’s Family and Social Services Administration is aimed at helping developmentally disabled offenders transition more smoothly to life outside prison.

While the developmentally disabled receive treatment while incarcerated, a new combined effort of the Department of Correction and the Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services, or DDRS, is meant to help those offenders obtain treatment once they’re outside the prison walls. 

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Politics & Government
12:12 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Planned Parenthood Defunding Battle Ends

Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky President Betty Cockrum.

A federal judge Tuesday put a permanent halt to Indiana’s abortion law defunding Planned Parenthood.  The decision ends a two-year legal battle between the state and its largest abortion provider.

Federal judge Tanya Walton Pratt first issued a preliminary injunction in 2011 against an Indiana law that cut off federal funding to abortion providers in the state – effectively meaning Planned Parenthood.  Pratt’s ruling, which temporarily halted the law’s effects, has since been upheld by a federal appeals court. 

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Politics & Government
10:46 am
Mon July 29, 2013

Committee Set to Add Transparency at DCS

Lawmakers say a new Department of Child Services oversight committee will help increase the agency’s transparency by developing a greater sense of collaboration between the legislature and DCS.

The DCS Oversight Committee was created last legislative session as part of a larger Commission on Improving the Status of Children.

Middlebury Republican Senator Carlin Yoder, who chairs the committee, says it was created because of struggles DCS went through the last several years.

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