Regan McCarthy

Senior Producer/Assignment Editor

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

Lawmakers are looking into a measure that could help the state partner up with private companies to explore and drill for oil or natural gas on state lands. Regan McCarthy reports some say the state has plenty of oil; it just doesn’t have the money to look for it. 

Senator Greg Evers says there could be oil just waiting to be discovered under Florida’s forests and public lands, but he says the state needs a little help finding it.

“The state doesn’t have money to do exploration of oil and gas because it’s very expensive."

A group of Florida lawmakers say students who have gone to high school in the state should be allowed to go to college without paying out-of-state tuition – regardless of their immigration status. But Regan McCarthy reports a bill that would make that happen, faces an uphill battle.

Evelyn Rivera says she’s lived in Florida for almost as long as she can remember...

“I’m from Orlando Florida, but I’m originally from Columbia. I came to the United States with my family when I was about 3 years old, and I’ve been living in the central Florida area for about 20 years now.”

Florida’s Supreme Court Justices are hearing oral arguments against a Florida law that limits how loudly car stereos can legally be played. Regan McCarthy reports some say the rule is unconstitutional.

Florida lawmakers are looking into what the state’s energy future should hold. Experts agree the state should have a diverse energy portfolio, but Regan McCarthy reports some disagree on how quickly the state should start shifting more of its energy dependence on to renewable sources.

Focusing the state’s energy efforts on renewable energy is a matter of national security—that’s according to Reamonn Soto, a marine serving in the reserves.

Lawmakers say requiring hospitals to perform a simple test could save the lives of hundreds of newborns in the state. Regan McCarthy reports legislators are considering a bill to require hospitals to test all new babies for congenital heart disease.

Senator Jeremy Ring says the U.S. Department of Health and Human services reports congenital heart disease is the number one killer of babies born with birth defects, but he says about half the cases go undiagnosed.

“It’s amazing to me that we have 34 protocols and one of them to test is not congenital heart condition.”

A group of Florida lawmakers say a number of bills moving through the legislature are “attacking” women and children.  Regan McCarthy reports members of the Democratic Women’s Club are urging citizens to push back.

A number of abortion related bills are moving through the legislature this session and Representative Scott Randolph says those bills “attack” women’s rights to choose, but he says abortion isn’t the only issue he and other lawmakers are concerned about. Randolph says House Bill 7091 by John Wood, a Republican from Winter Haven, targets children.

Lawmakers killed a proposal to amend the state constitution to cut property taxes. Regan McCarthy reports legislators say property tax reform is warranted, but worry about the impact the proposal could have had on local governments.

Representative Jason Brodeur, a Republican from Sanford, says his bill was intended to cut down on the inequities in the state’s property taxes—It’s a move Representative Charles Van Zant, a Keystone Heights Republican, says is sorely needed.

Some of Florida’s Senators are calling for a comprehensive tax overhaul in the state. Regan McCarthy reports lawmakers say it’s time to stop piecing tax rules together bill by bill.

Right now local governments are required to let their citizenry know  when they’re going to hold a public meeting, but Florida law doesn’t require the agencies to let members of the public speak during those meetings. Regan McCarthy reports lawmakers are looking into a bill that gives Floridians a right to be heard.

Many people think the right to have their voices heard at a public meeting is a given, but Representative Martin Kiar says at some of Florida’s local government meetings, that’s not the case.

Florida lawmakers are looking into a number of bills aimed at collecting a sales tax for goods brought over the internet. Some estimate the state is losing out on hundreds of millions of dollars in uncollected taxes, but Regan McCarthy reports lawmakers say they’re more interested in trying to level the playing field for local businesses than making that money up.

Redistricting is headed for final action in the Republican controlled Florida Legislature. James Call reports, the House began floor debate Thursday with a final vote expected Friday.

Florida lawmakers are considering a bill aimed at local governments that have been declared to be in a state of financial emergency. The bill would let the governor boot local government leaders who fail to fix the situation. The measure passed the Senate, but Regan McCarthy reports its moving difficulty through the House.

Florida lawmakers are considering a measure that would help police to crack down on repeat drug offenders. Regan McCarthy reports the measure would expand the definition of a “public nuisance.”

Representative Jim Frische says Florida’s drug dealers are getting smarter.                                                                 

They’ve figured out that if you just step off property onto a city sidewalk the criminal event doesn’t happen on property so it’s not included in any nuisance abatement ordinances.”

Florida lawmakers are proposing several new constitutional amendments that would give some Florida residents a break on their property taxes. Regan McCarthy reports one measure would freeze the property taxes of low income seniors.

After complaints about toxic algae in Florida’s water bodies, and an attempt at imposing Federal water quality standards, the Environmental Protection Agency is giving the state a chance to make its own rules. Regan McCarthy reports U.S. Representative Steve Southerland came to Florida Monday to tout the state’s proposed water quality standards.

Should home-town businesses be given extra consideration when local governments are making contracting decisions? Some state lawmakers say no – not when Florida’s money is involved anyway. Regan McCarthy reports a bill moving through the legislature would prevent local governments from giving preference to local companies when letting contracts that use state money.

Senator David Simmons says ordinances that give preference to local business could be costing Florida more money and he says they could exclude worthy companies in the state.

Several bills related to the reproductive rights of women are making their way through the House. Regan McCarthy reports one is a resolution declaring this week “Reproductive Rights Awareness week,” three would put more rules in place for when, where and why an abortion can be performed.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida is challenging a state law that limits the campaign contribution a minor can make. Regan McCarthy reports the case arose after a 17-year-old form Boca Raton tried to attend a campaign fundraiser.

Thanks to the repeal of a controversial provision in a pair of bills moving through the legislature Floridians will be able to take pictures of cows and other farm animals without facing the possibility of committing a crime. Regan McCarthy reports animal rights activists are praising the house and senate for removing what they call the “ag gag” provision.

Legislators are pushing yet another bill that would ask Florida citizens to pee in a cup. Regan McCarthy reports the bill that’s making its way through the House would let state agencies randomly drug test their employees.

Florida lawmakers are considering what some might call a sweet new bill—literally.  A measure aimed at unifying bee-keeping rules is making its way through the legislature. Regan McCarthy fills us in on what the buzz is all about.

Children waiting at the bus stop might soon be the target of advertising as yellow school buses plastered with ads from dairy queen, websites or even the local plumber pull up to the curb to take them to school. A bill making its way through the legislature would let public schools sell ad spots on the sides of their buses. The idea behind the measure is to provide schools with another avenue for generating revenue, but Regan McCarthy reports some worry about the message those ads might send to children.

Lawmakers are considering a bill that would limit the price doctors can charge workers compensation patients for re-packaged medicine. Regan McCarthy reports the bill passed both chambers once before only to be vetoed by then Governor Charlie Crist in 2010.

Lawmakers are considering a bill that would require the state attorney general’s office to defend teachers in certain legal cases. But, Regan McCarthy reports not all teachers are behind the move.

A bill that claims to be aimed at protecting teachers made its first committee stop today. The bill, sponsored by Representative Jeffery Brandes, a Republican from St. Petersburg would require the attorney general to defend a teacher in certain legal cases.

A bill that would put more protections in place for children under the auspices of the Department of Children and Families is making its way through the Florida House. Regan McCarthy reports the bill is, in part, a response to the death of Nubia Barahona, a young girl who was abused and eventually killed by her adoptive foster parents.

Pages