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Robbie Gaffney

Robbie Gaffney is a recent graduate from Florida State University with degrees in Digital Media Production and Creative Writing. Before working at WFSU, they recorded FSU’s basketball and baseball games for Seminole Productions as well as interned for the PBS Station in Largo, Florida. Robbie loves playing video games such as Shadow of the Colossus, Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. Their other hobbies include sleeping and watching anime.  

Gov. ron DeSantis in front of a podium
News Service of Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis expanded an emergency order prohibiting all visitation to nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other long-term care facilities for the next 30 days.

In 1920, African-Americans in Florida organized a voter registration movement ahead of a presidential election. In Ocoee, a white mob retaliated against black voters by killing some and burning their property, causing most black residents in the area to flee. Almost 100 years later, lawmakers want that history to be remembered and taught in Florida schools, museums and recognized in a state park.

A bill aimed at making Florida schools safer just passed a full chamber vote in the House. The proposal includes penalties for school officials and adds members to a school safety committee, among other changes.

Holocaust history lessons could be expanded in Florida if a bill heading to the Senate floor becomes law. The measure would require teachers to show current examples of antisemitism as well as historical ones, among other requirements. Magda Bader, a holocaust survivor, came to the Capitol this week to support the proposal.

If another active shooting happens, lawmakers want schools to be equipped with a panic alert system. It would be activated through a mobile app. The push for this technology comes after the second anniversary of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.

Stem cell research has shown both promise and peril. The technology is advancing faster than the government's ability to regulate it. That's led to problems, such as a 2017 case where three women went blind after receiving stem cell injections to cure a degenerative eye disease. Since then, the federal government has taken measures to regulate stem cell clinics. Florida has been trying to follow suit. 

building
Jabil

The coronavirus outbreak could impact the state's economy - and at least one Tampa Bay area company is already seeing some effects.

According to a state analysis, about half of Florida's marriages end in divorce. To curb that number, Republicans want to require couples to read a handbook before they can get a marriage license. 

When a baby is getting adopted, the state seals their original birth certificate and they’re issued a new one. According to the Bureau of Vital Statistics, in Florida, adult adoptees can’t get their original birth certificate without consent from both their adoptive and birth parents. However, a bill by Rep. Richard Stark (D-Weston) seeks to change that. 

Dignity Florida is backing bills aimed to change how pregnant incarcerated women are treated. The push comes after a woman gave birth alone in a jail cell. 

Florida’s average teacher salary is among the lowest in the nation. The Florida Education Association says the state suffers from high turn-over rates and teacher shortages. The teachers union wants to change that and Monday, it brought educators from across the state to the Florida Capitol to demand more funding for education.

The Florida Chamber of Commerce’s Chief Economist says there’s a low chance of a recession this year. However, that doesn’t mean it will be smooth sailing.

January 6th is the anniversary of same-sex marriage becoming legal in Florida. But 5 years after the historic ruling, Florida statute still says marriage is only between a woman and a man. Lawmakers are hoping to change that during this upcoming 2020 legislative session.

As legislative session looms on the horizon, lawmakers are trying to squeeze in their personal projects into next years’ budget. However, not all of those proposals will make it.

When someone dies without a will, their land goes to family. But it can lead to some sticky situations. A group of Democratic lawmakers is looking into the issue.

Florida senators are pushing forward with a change to family law. The proposal focuses on situations where relatives spend years caring for children left with them by family members. However, the bill has stalled in the House.

Gun safety advocates say more needs to be done to prevent mass shootings. But some say those proposals could be hard to enforce.  

St. Petersburg's assistant police chief is returning home to lead the police department in Tallahassee.

Antonio Gilliam, 41, was chosen among three finalists Wednesday and named Tallahassee’s new chief of police.

In Florida, thousands of children live with an extended family member rather than a biological parent. However, that’s causing some issues and a new proposal would give courts more power to reunify children with parents.

Activists want Florida to be the 16th state to ban conversion therapy. The practice is known for trying to change someone from gay to straight. Awareness of LGBTQ issues is on the rise, but that doesn't mean acceptance is widespread.

Residents of Marion County saw Manatees gather in the Silver River last winter. That’s raising eyebrows with the folks at the Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida. The organization is now investing in research to find out why Manatees are changing where they swim.

The Florida Department of Corrections is asking state legislators to increase its budget so it can address long-standing issues with the treatment of correctional officers and prisoners.

Florida Republicans are beginning to lend their voice to traditionally liberal issues like climate change and LGBTQ rights.

Reptile owners and vendors affected by an addition to Florida’s prohibited species list are filing a petition to challenge the decision.

Sharing someone else’s nude images on social media or through other “electronic means” will be a misdemeanor if Gov. Ron DeSantis signs a bill passed by the house and senate this week. The measure is part of an effort to curb harm done to victims of sexual cyber harassment.

Gabrielle Monroe gives testimony as to why she is against Senate Bill 540.
The Florida Channel

Survivors of human trafficking are divided on two bills in the legislature.

“I am a survivor of childhood sex trafficking,” said Gabrielle Monroe of Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP) Behind Bars. She spoke out this week against Senate Bill 540, which is designed to stop human trafficking. “I also was arrested in 2004 on the charges of prostitution.”

Housing is scarce and evictions in the Panhandle are on the rise, leaving many with nowhere to go.

A bill in the Florida legislature would remove from public record video, audio, or images of mass violence victims.

Two bills in the Florida legislature would add workplace protections for LGBTQ individuals, but activists say one could be a step forward while the other could be a step back.