Blaise Gainey

Multimedia Reporter

Blaise Gainey is a Multimedia Reporter for WFSU News. Blaise hails from Windermere, Fla. He graduated from The School of Journalism at the Florida A&M University. He formely worked for The Florida Channel, WTXL-TV, and before graduating interned with WFSU News. He is excited to return to the newsroom. In his spare time he enjoys watching sports, netflix, outdoor activities and anything involving his daughter. Follow Blaise Gainey on Twitter: @BlaiseGainey

Ross D. Franklin / AP Photo

During week six of the 2019 legislative session, the House passed a bill that would address an assignment of benefits issue that has plagued Florida’s insurance industry for years. But as a change was made that some say may cause more abuse of the system.

Jeff Chiu / AP Photo

A bill filed last week would set a limit on the amount of THC that can be dispensed to 10%. The bill also allows military veterans to waive their yearly $75-dollar Medical Marijuana Card fee. Opponents don’t like the first portion and think tying it to the veterans’ fee waiver is bad policy. I spoke with Dr. Mark Moore a certified medical cannabis physician with MEDCAN about his thoughts.

Cat Gloria/Fresh Take Florida / AP

Several bills were passed by the legislature today and will end up on the governor’s desk soon. One measure that looks to protect police animals.

Andrew Magill / Flickr

For years now some members of the legislature have been pushing to create a way to help firefighters battling cancer. Studies show they are more likely to be diagnosed with the disease, because of their line of work. This year the effort has overwhelming support in the Senate but hasn’t been heard in a house committee yet.

Don Ryan / AP Photo

Last month Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law that allowed medical marijuana flower to be sold in Florida. Now a sponsor of that bill is trying to cap the potency levels of marijuana sold at treatment centers, and also waive license fees for veterans. Opponents say it’s a double-edged sword. 

More than a year after the Parkland school massacre, a comprehensive response on how to best prevent a future tragedy remains a work in progress. For many the question boils down to this: Are parents comfortable with placing their children’s safety in the hands of an armed teacher who has eight hours of active shooter training?

Wilfredo Lee / AP Photo

When amendments are made to the constitution sometimes they need legislation to be passed that would implement the change. Well this year lawmakers are doing that with 2018’s Amendment 4 which allows certain felons the right to vote after completing their sentence. There’s debate over whether implementing legislation is needed and WFSU’s Blaise Gainey reports both sides clashed during Thursday’s bill hearing.

sample ballot
Jessica Palombo / WFSU News

Florida’s elections once again made headlines last year amid several hotly-contested races. Now the state house and senate are pushing bills to change the process for the future.

Bryan Woolston / AP Photo

While low-THC cannabis or hemp is available in stores, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried says it’s not legal …. Yet. Legislation proposed in both Chambers would change that. Tuesday the House bill passed its second committee.

alamosbasement / Flickr

In 2017 the legislature decided to give greater incentives to charter schools to serve students in low-performing traditional schools. Today an attempt to expand where the schools of hope could open up was approved in the House.

Wakulla County Sheriff's Office / Facebook

Florida legislators are likely to pass a bill this session that would allow classroom teachers to carry guns while in school. But the Wakulla School Superintendent doesn’t support it.

Lynne Sladky / AP Photo

Legislators want to close a loophole they say bad actors are exploiting, ultimately leading to insurance rates increasing across the state. A bill heading to the House floor would address the issue. Lawmakers and the Chief Financial Officer of Florida are both focused on stopping the so-called bad actors.

Over the years DNA testing companies have been becoming more and more popular. FamilyTreeDNA, offers its customers a chance to discover their heritage, and possibly find living relatives after taking a DNA test. But without consent from each client the company shared genetic data with the FBI, and other DNA Testing companies have done similar things with pharmaceutical companies. Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis thinks that’s wrong and that DNA should be treated like a medical record. He spoke WFSUs Blaise Gainey about the why it’s wrong and what the state is doing to stop it.

Steve Cannon / AP Photo

The House Appropriations committee moved forward with their budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year. But, Rep. Kionne McGhee (D-Cutler Bay) doesn’t think North Florida is being treated fairly when it comes to Hurricane Recovery.

Mitchell Haindfield / Flickr

In Florida a court can sentence a person under the age of 21 as a youthful offender. If a court does so that person can only receive a maximum sentence of six years. But the court process can take time. Public Defender Carey Haughwout says a bill moving through the legislature makes sure people aren't penalized by the delay.

In November, voters in Florida restored voting rights for felons who have completed their sentence and did not commit a murder or sexual offense should be restored. Now, four weeks into session lawmakers are trying to pass legislation that is meant to help execute what the voters asked for. Reggie Garcia, a clemency lawyer sat down to explain exactly what voters approved.

Chris Carlson / AP Photo

In November, voters agreed to change The Florida Constitution to ban fracking. A bill moving through the legislature sort of implements that.

Chris O'Meara / AP Photo

Lawmakers in the Senate today passed a bill that would implement Amendment 4, which allows certain felons to vote. But as Blaise Gainey reports proponents of the amendment say it’s self-enacting and the bill passed today isn’t needed and may not meet constitutional muster.

Ricardo's Photography / Flickr

For years the Florida legislature has funded Visit Florida – a group charged with advertising and marketing tourism for the state. It works overseas, and around the country and also keeps track of the state’s tourism number. Now the agency is set to dissolve in October unless the legislature decides to keep it going.

But both chambers are at odds on whether it’s needed.

Clinger Holsters / Flickr

Just over a year since the Parkland school massacre, a comprehensive response on how to best prevent a future tragedy remains a work in progress, at least in the Florida Legislature. Before a key committee Thursday, the question boiled down to this: would parents be comfortable with placing their children’s safety in the hands of an armed teacher with eight hours of active shooter training? Although some insisted the answer to that question would most likely be “No!”, lawmakers kept moving in that direction.

Chris Potter / Flickr

One bill could cost stubborn city and county governments more money if they don’t follow state rules.

Steve Helber) / AP Photo

A House proposal would fine local governments and law enforcement agencies for not cooperating with federal immigration enforcement. Immigrant advocates say the bill is overbearing and goes too far.

A number of pill bottles
Florida Department of Health's Take Control Website

Florida lawmakers want to create a task force to crackdown on the state’s opioid epidemic.

John Raoux / AP Photo

Public commenters gave lawmakers an earful today when the implementing bill for 2018’s Amendment 4 came up in a House committee meeting. The amendment allows certain felons to vote. But that raises the question which felons can’t vote?

Historic Capitol
Tom Flanigan / WFSU News

Tonight on the steps of the Historic Capitol, a group of Florida State University students and the Islamic Center of Tallahassee are holding a solidarity event and vigil for the 50 victims of the Christchurch Massacre.

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