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.

Ways to Connect

Lauren Chapman / IPB News

The House sent legislation to the governor Tuesday blocking local governments from banning short-term rentals such as Airbnb - while still allowing units to regulate the industry.

The bill says local governments can require permits for short-term rentals, with a one-time fee of up to $150. And Rep. Matt Lehman (R-Berne) says the bill allows local units to revoke those licenses after repeated complaints.

Lauren Chapman / IPB News

The Indiana House overwhelmingly approved legislation Monday to ensure recipients of the federal immigration program Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA, can receive job licenses.

Brandon Smith / IPB News

Legislation headed to the governor would allow prosecutors to seek a murder charge against someone who attacks a woman and causes the death of her fetus.

Current law allows such charges if the fetus is viable. The legislation eliminates the need for viability.

READ MORE: Senate Committee Approves Bill To Expand Feticide Law

Lauren Chapman / IPB News

House lawmakers unanimously passed legislation Monday to require all Indiana public schools to offer a computer science course.

Nearly half of all Indiana public schools currently offer computer science classes. Rep. Robin Shackleford (D-Indianapolis) says the legislation she co-sponsors to spread that to all schools will help address Indiana’s skills gap.

“We have over four thousand current jobs available in computer science and we don’t have enough people to fill these jobs,” Shackleford says.

Brandon Smith / IPB News

Independent consultants investigating the Department of Child Services have identified significant potential shortages in the agency.

The consultants’ second public update shows possible challenges in legal representation, worker qualifications, and services.

Brandon Smith / IPB News

Republican leaders say they halted gun bills in each chamber Thursday to avoid debate on several gun regulation proposals.

Lawmakers say they plan to revive some of the language in those bills before the session ends.

David Shankbone / Wikimedia Commons

A Senate panel voted Wednesday to get rid of proposed alcohol regulations that would have governed where alcohol is housed in stores and who’s legally allowed to ring it up.

Some advocates decry the elimination of what they call safeguards the same day the governor signed a bill expanding alcohol sales to Sundays.

The proposed bill would have required all cashiers conducting alcohol sales to be at least 21-years-old. But a Senate committee stripped out that provision.

Brandon Smith / IPB News

Health care providers across the state will be subject to new reporting requirements when it comes to complications from abortions.

That’s under legislation approved by the House Wednesday.

The bill creates a long list of potential abortion complications physicians, hospitals, and clinics must report to the state. It includes everything from blood clots and cardiac arrest to anxiety and sleeping disorders.

Lauren Chapman / IPB News

Legislation approved by the Senate Tuesday creates a new crime to charge drug dealers with higher penalties if the person they deliver those drugs to overdoses and dies. But some lawmakers worry the measure will ensnare otherwise innocent people.

Brandon Smith / IPB News

A Senate committee made changes Tuesday to a bill regulating autonomous vehicles. The bill’s Senate sponsor says the amendment seeks to find a middle ground between self-driving car manufacturers and those who want tighter controls on the industry.

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