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.

Lauren Chapman/IPB

 

  

Sunday alcohol carryout sales would become legal even earlier than expected under a legislative change made in a House committee Wednesday.

 

If passed, legislation to legalize Sunday alcohol sales from noon to 8 p.m. would have taken effect July 1, like most new laws. But Rep. Ben Smaltz (R-Auburn), the bill’s sponsor, says he’d rather see it take effect as soon as the governor signs it into law.

 

Brandon Smith/IPB News

Senate President Pro Tem David Long announced Tuesday he will retire after 22 years in the chamber.

Standing beside his wife Melissa, who recently retired herself, Long (R-Fort Wayne) said he’s stepping down in November “for the right reasons.”

“I’ve seen a lot of things accomplished that I hoped to see done,” Long said. “I feel like the Senate’s in good hands with this new generation.”

Long points to Right to Work, school vouchers, property tax caps, and tax cuts as notable accomplishments.

Lauren Chapman/IPB

  Legislation approved by a Senate committee Monday would impose new requirements on child care programs. The changes are aimed at, for instance, helping ensure child care providers are being inspected at the local level.

 

The bill stems from an investigation into a Merrillville child care program. The provider was shut down after Department of Child Services officials discovered unsafe conditions. It also uncovered that only a third of Merrillville’s child care facilities had business licenses.

 

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Indiana tax revenues surged ahead of the state’s revised, more pessimistic expectations in January. Yet seven months into the current fiscal year, total collections are still below target for the state budget approved last year by lawmakers.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Tax issues concerning short-term rentals – such as Airbnb – won’t get solved in the 2018 session.

Brandon Smith/IPB News

 

Legislation to ensure ballots are counted even if the voters who cast them die won’t advance in the House.

The bill – which easily cleared the Senate – would require absentee ballots to be counted if the person who cast the ballot dies before Election Day.

Lauren Chapman/IPB

Indiana Senate Republicans approved a resolution this week to study redistricting issues. That comes less than two years after a special two-year study commission that already explored the topic.

  Indiana is one of just three states in the country without an official state insect. Legislation passed in the Senate Tuesday would change that.

The unanimously approved bill is the initiative of West Lafayette elementary school students. Their push to name the Say’s Firefly as Indiana’s state insect began three years ago.

Wikimedia Commons

Indiana gubernatorial candidates typically have about six months between the primary and general elections to introduce and define themselves to the electorate. And they’re already spending millions to do so.

But 2016 isn’t a typical election cycle.

There are 188 days between Indiana’s May primary and the general election.

Incumbent Republican Mike Pence was elevated to the national ticket, catapulting Eric Holcomb to the head of gubernatorial ticket with just more than 100 days to go. He says it’s been a whirlwind since.

United States Congress

Democrat Baron Hill is dropping out of the race for Indiana’s open U-S Senate seat. In a statement, Hill says his campaign has made progress in the race against Republican Representative Todd Young. But the Democrat says that progress isn’t enough against what he calls the oncoming slew of “special interest” money. Hill says Democrats can win the Senate race if they have a candidate with money and name recognition.

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