Robbie Gaffney

Multimedia Reporter

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.  

Ways to Connect

Poster has a gray image on it with some dots.
Robbie Gaffney / WFSU-FM

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. 

woman bends down at memorial to light a candle.
Wilfredo Lee / AP Photo

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.

people stand in the florid legislature
Steve Cannon / AP Photo

If signed by the governor, minors in Florida would need parental consent to get an abortion. If they don't have a parent, a guardian can step in. So far, 26 states have passed similar laws.

Man walks along beach. Giant tree roots are to the right and left of him.
Photo provided by Susan Cerulean, wife to Jeff Chanton

Climate change could soon be a factor state agencies use when determining whether plants and animals are considered endangered or threatened. It also would ban agencies from considering economic factors when making those decisions.

Boy holds sign that reads, "Trans Rights Are Human Rights." Symbol of a fist pumping up to the sky is on the poster.
Robbie Gaffney / WFSU-FM

Florida lawmakers want to clarify the rights parents have in schools. The Parents' Bill of Rights allows parents to object to school materials based on religion, morals, and more.

man sits on plush sofa. His hand is covering his face.
Nik Shuliahin / Unsplash

Mental health is on the minds of Florida lawmakers. Proposals tackling suicide prevention, psychosis treatment, and insurance are pending before the legislature.

Western Union

Florida lawmakers want to repeal a 113-year old regulation on telegraph companies. Lawmakers say it's long overdue, considering the nation's last official telegraph service closed in 2006.

Aisles of wooden chairs and bouquets of flowers lead to an arch draped in sheer cloth. Shrubbery is in the background.
Shardayyy Photography / Unsplash

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. 

a close up of a person with a blue eye
Photo by Amanda Dalbjörn on Unsplash

Florida lawmakers want to ban for-profit eye banks. These companies retrieve, store, and help deliver corneas to people who need them. The industry has long been dominated by non-profit banks, but that trend is changing.


People sit at long tables picking up ballots and reading them.
Chris O'Meara / AP Photo

A proposal in the legislature could change how recounts are conducted in Florida. The measure hinges on an auditing system that at least one local supervisor says is better at accessing digital copies of paper ballots than what's currently being used. 

Cord from device drapes onto the road and hooks into a car parked by curbside.
Michael Flippo / Adobe Stock

Lawmakers are considering a move to build more electric car charging stations on state highways. They're also looking into a measure to pave the way for solar energy in schools. 

man with short hair and button up shirt holds his two young sons. A man and a woman are beside him.
Robbie Gaffney / WFSU-FM

Under a new bill being considered by Florida lawmakers, courts could grant grandparents visitation rights under certain conditions. Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) is pushing the measure after Dan Markel's murder.

woman with long hair, turtle neck, and glasses, speaks into a microphone.
Phil Sears / AP Photo

Different forms of abuse often happen under the same roof. Now, a senate committee is backing a proposal to require child and animal abuse agencies to work together. Sen. Lauren Book (D-Plantation) is one of its supporters. She says cross-reporting between agencies will help prevent child abuse.

sings hung on a fence that have encouraging messages on them.
Dan Meyers / Unsplash

Programs to help people with psychosis could receive more state funding under a new proposal moving through the legislature.

woman holds child hand.
Guillaume de Germain / Unsplash

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. 

Mathieu Cheze / Unsplash

When someone dies without a will, their land typically goes to family. It becomes so called “heirs' property.” However, if relatives can’t decide what to do with it, families could wind up in court, and the judge could place the land up for auction. Rep. Loranne Ausley (D-Tallahassee) says often this results in families losing their property. So, she’s backing a bill to give courts a framework when dealing with these cases.

Under the proposal, Florida health practitioners would be banned from giving transgender kids hormone therapy and gender confirmation surgery. It’s one of many bills LGBTQ rights advocates are targeting in a press conference Monday. 

Bear clamps his jaw over a watermelon and uses his paw to hold the melon down.
Phil Coale / AP Photo

Killing a Florida black bear would cost poachers a minimum of $750 under a proposal pending before the legislature. According to the state, there are more than 4,000 black bears living in Florida.

Young man stands at podium speaking into several microphone. A crowd is in the back. Reporters are in the front with cameras.
Aileen Perilla / AP Photo

On the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, a bill requiring parental consent for a minor’s abortion passed its last committee stop. The measure will now be heading to the Senate floor. 

Man speaks at podium. He's surrounded by women, one of which holds a sign that reads, "Justice 4 Tammy."
Robbie Gaffney / WFSU-FM

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. 

Line of orange structures, one of which is on the ground.
David Pollard / Tallahassee International Airport

The Tallahassee International Airport is experiencing delays after a man stole a FedEx truck and crashed it into navigational equipment. As a result, Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez (D-Miami) couldn’t present his teacher pay plan last Monday.

Grandmother points to something in the grass. Grandchildren look where she's pointing.
Nikoline Arns / Unsplash

If an extended family member has gained temporary custody of a child, a legislative proposal could allow courts to create a transition plan for that child to go back to their parents. On January 16, lawmakers approved an amendment to allow fictive kin to take part in the process.

Pictures of three people smiling
Tallahassee Police Department / Facebook

Jason Laursen, Tonja Bryant-Smith, and Maurice Holmes will be Tallahassee’s new deputy chiefs. 

Women stand in a line holding signs that read, "Keep you theology off my biology!" and "Protect, safe, legal abortion."
Lynne Sladky / AP Photo

A bill to require parental consent for a minor’s abortion has one more stop to go before heading to the Senate floor. Meanwhile, a similar bill in the House is already teed up for consideration by the full chamber. 

If passed, the Senate bill would penalize physicians for aborting a minor’s pregnancy without consent from their parents or guardians.

Man stands up on a podium. People around him are clapping.
Steve Cannon / AP Photo

Gov. DeSantis kicked off Florida's legislative session by announcing his priorities for 2020. He chose three locals to help illustrate his education and Hurricane Michael initiatives.