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IN House Ways and Means leadership changing

Following the retirement of its two longtime leaders, the House Ways and Means committee will look significantly different when the Indiana General Assembly begins its session in January. 

Between them, representatives Jeff Espich (R-Uniondale) and Bill Crawford (D-Indianapolis) had 80 years of legislative experience.  The two men led the House Ways and Means Committee when their party was in control.  But both are retiring this year. 

House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) will announce the new Republican Ways and Means leadership team this week and he says there are eight or nine candidates for the post.  Bosma says there are a variety of qualifications he’s considering.

“Have to have time to do it because it is a time-consuming process. They have to be someone that can take in a lot of information in a short period of time.  They have to be experienced in the legislative process.”

House Minority Leader Scott Pelath (D-Michigan City) says he’s tabbed Representative Greg Porter (D-Indianapolis) to lead his caucus on Ways and Means.

“He’s an extraordinarily experienced legislator, he has great integrity, he’s a good man and he has a great grasp of a myriad of issues but particularly in the education realm.”

Indiana devotes 56% of its state budget to education, the highest percentage of any state in the country.  Porter formerly led Democrats on the House Education Committee.

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.