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Regan McCarthy

Phone: (850) 487-3086  x374

Regan McCarthy is the Assignment Editor and Senior News Producer for WFSU News/ Florida Public Radio. Before coming to Tallahassee, Regan graduated with honors from Indiana University’s Ernie Pyle School of Journalism. She worked for several years for NPR member station WFIU in Bloomington, Ind., where she covered local and state government and produced feature and community stories. She has also worked for the London Business Matters Magazine and the Rochester Sentinel, a daily local newspaper. She is the recipient of six professional broadcast awards including first-place Best Radio Feature from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.  When she isn’t tracking leading newsmakers she spends her time knitting, reading, strolling through the woods and brunching at new restaurants.  Follow Regan McCarthy on Twitter: @Regan_McCarthy

A vote to create a new marijuana civil citation program in Leon County failed in a tie Tuesday. One of the commissioners dialed into the meeting and local rules say a caller can’t break a tied vote.

Officials estimate there are still years of recovery left after Hurricane Michael slammed into the panhandle this time last year.  But for many who are living in tents or doubled up in homes still in disrepair, that’s too long, and insurance companies are bearing part of the blame for what some see as a slow recovery.

Last year, after Hurricane Michael wrought havoc in the Panhandle, school officials began raising concerns about an emergent mental health crisis among students. Bay County Superintendent Bill Hussfelt said in the first four months following the storm, 70 kids had been involuntarily held for mental health treatment through the Baker Act. But in the first two months of this school year, 50 students have already been institutionally committed. 

As mass shootings continue to rock the country, Florida lawmakers say more needs to be done to ensure students are safe. For some that means allowing more guns on college campuses. But for many students at Florida State University that proposal leads to more feelings of fear than safety.

State Attorney Jack Campbell says a focus on restorative justice may be one way to empower victims of crime. Campbell says restorative justice focuses on helping those who’ve committed crimes face the consequences of their actions—often by meeting and speaking with their targets. And he adds the process can also be therapeutic for victims.

A controversial bill that bans local governments from adopting or practicing sanctuary city policies is moving forward, but it comes with some new amendments.

Some Florida lawmakers say it’s too easy to change the state’s constitution. They want to raise the bar in an effort to keep what they say are policy changes out of document that lays the ground work for Florida’s government.

Sen. Dennis Baxley (R-Ocala) is behind the bill (SB 0232.)

“This resolution provides that to amend the state constitution, this is recommending an increase in the percentage to a 2/3rds majority, or 66 2/3 percent,” Baxley says.

Florida Senate President Bill Galvano is the driving force behind a new transportation plan coming up for another committee discussion in the Senate Tuesday. But the measure could face a bumpy road in the House.

A number of bills that would make changes to Florida’s alcohol rules are moving through the legislature. But many of them make exceptions to the state’s three tier system that separates manufactures, distributors and vendors.

While cities say they’re excited about new transportation options associated with so called “micro-mobility devices,” some are worried the state is trying to scoot by with yet another home rule exemption.

Florida Senate President Bill Galvano is paving the way for a new transportation plan as the legislative session kicks into gear. But a bumpy road could lie ahead.

The Florida Commission on Ethics has released a report and materials relating to complaints made against former Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum.

A Tallahassee judge has ordered three proposed constitutional amendments be stricken from the Florida ballot. Judge Karen Grievers says because the proposals contain several issues bundled into one, voters would not be able to answer with a simple yes or no.

Many of the proposed constitutional amendments heading for the Florida ballot this November are facing at least one challenge.  Tallahassee judge Karen Gievers heard arguments Wednesday about whether proposals bundled by the Constitution Revision Commission should go before voters.

With the state’s energy portfolio surpassing 60 percent natural gas, Florida’s utility regulators are pushing for greater diversity.

A tax cut package moving through the House is facing pushback from animal rights activists, educators and working people. But the proposal does include more tax free holidays and a break for nursing homes adding generators.

Florida lawmakers are once again looking for ways to help the sunshine state reclaim its title as the Hollywood of the South. 

Would raising the age to buy tobacco products lower the cost of healthcare in Florida? One lawmaker thinks so.

Florida lawmakers are continuing a push to get gambling legislation passed this legislative session.

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran defended their positions in a debate Tuesday on sanctuary cities.

The Florida House and Senate have both passed their versions of next year’s budget. Both proposals spend about $87-billion, but the two plans remain for apart when it comes to how much of that money is put toward issues like healthcare and education.

Florida lawmakers are considering legislation that would create a uniform framework for bike sharing companies in the state of Florida. Tampa Republican Senator Dana Young said her bill addresses preemption and enforcement. 

Take a look at the last receipt you got from a hotel stay in Florida. You’ll likely notice a number of taxes and fees. Some of that money goes toward what’s called a tourism development tax and is meant to be used for a tourism-related projects. Now state lawmakers are digging into what exactly counts as tourism related.

Florida Senators have approved a measure closing a loophole that allows child marriage. The bill is being called historic. If the proposal passes the full legislature, the group, Human Rights Watch, says it will be the first of its kind in the country.

A proposal moving through the Florida Constitution Revision Commission—a body that meets one every two decades to bring proposed constitutional changes directly to voters—would give more duties to the state’s Lieutenant Governor.

Florida lawmakers are working on a measure they hope will help the children of incarcerated parents move forward faster. Fort Lauderdale Democratic Representative Patricia Williams has a bill she says would help to map out a plan for parents and their children.

The halls of the Leon County courthouse were packed Monday as a grand jury began its investigation into the death of a Florida State University student. The investigation and testimony is expected to continue Tuesday.

Lawmakers are once again working to assure the 3-million Floridians who play fantasy sports with friends that they’re not breaking the law. A measure from Tampa Republican Senator Dana Young would clarify that playing fantasy sports does not constitute gambling. The Seminole Tribe of Florida has raised concerns about the legislation violating the tribe’s gambling exclusivity agreement with the state. But Young says she’s not worried.

The incoming leader of Florida’s Senate Democrats, Jeff Clemens, announced his resignation Friday evening.

Florida Governor Rick Scott and the Seminole Tribe of Florida have reached a settlement deal over the tribe’s ability to offer games like black jack in its casinos.

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