Blaise Gainey

Lead Government Reporter/Producer

Blaise Gainey is a Multimedia Reporter for WFSU News. Blaise hails from Windermere, Florida. He graduated from The School of Journalism at the Florida A&M University. He formerly 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.

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Blaise Gainey

A day before her inauguration incoming Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried stopped by Second Harvest of Big Bend in Tallahassee to help fill bags and boxes with food for families. She took a break from community service Monday to address the media.

prison cells
Thomas Hawke via Flickr

After complaints of inhumane treatment in women’s correctional facilities throughout Florida, one lawmaker is calling for a change.

Monroe County Board of County Commissioners / facebook

Insurance companies must include bold font text detailing what they do and do not cover, thanks to new law.

Leon Votes facebook page

Florida is joining a multi-state compact, giving local elections supervisors access to voter logs in other states. It’s through a new law that went into effect New Years Day.

The Florida Channel

Florida lawmakers are hearing from the public on Election Reform, Public School Funding and Mental Health. From Broward to Bay, legislators are getting an earful from the public on exactly where the focus should be during the 2019 legislative session.

The Florida Channel

A plethora of constitutional amendments were passed on the 2018 ballot. From banning greyhound racing, offshore drilling, to allowing voters to choose whether or not to open a casino in their district. WFSU News Reporter Blaise Gainey gives us the gist of what these new changes mean.

Nik Shuliahin / Unsplash

After two suicides by first responders this week, Hillsborough county residents are pushing lawmakers to focus on mental health this upcoming session.

Visit Florida

Executives with Visit Florida must choose a new CEO after Ken Lawson was chosen to head the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. Committee members are debating what type of person should have that job.

Leon Supervisor of Elections Mark Earley
Leon Votes

Election supervisors say they can start registering felons to vote next month without legislative action. But one supervisor says there's one change that could make implementing Amendment 4 a bit easier.

Blaise Gainey

North Florida lawmakers sat through 3.5 hours of public testimony at Monday night’s Leon county delegation meeting. The subjects bounced from education, criminal justice reform, and a pay raise for state workers.

Rasmus Bøgeskov Larsen via Flickr

Governor-elect Ron Desantis’s environmental transition team is focusing on water quality and supply. But when climate change didn’t come up in the team’s discussions, advocates for environmental protection took action.

Facebook: Railroad Square Art District

Owners of Railroad Square announced this week that a plan is in the works to build a hotel in the art district and local businesses in the aea are cautiously looking forward to the partnership.


The Florida House Democratic Caucus wants to meet with the Republican Caucus to make plans for fixing what some say is an antiquated election system.  

House Minority Leader Rep. Kionne McGhee says until the state makes changes Florida will be the laughing stock of America.

“If our elections system is questionable, then one has to admit that our democracy becomes questionable,” said McGhee.

Florida Supreme Court
Nick Evans / WFSU News

For the first time in nearly four decades no African American will be seated on the Florida Supreme Court unless changes are made. Now the Senate Democratic caucus is calling for a more diverse nomination list.

Facebook: Railroad Square Art District

Owners of Railroad Square are nearing a deal for a Hyatt House hotel to be built on the corner of Railroad Avenue and FAMU Way.

They believe the hotel will help make the art district a top destination for tourist and locals. Mountain Shore Properties, a family-owned company, will develop the 120 room hotel. This will be their second hotel in Tallahassee they also operate the Hampton Inn on Railroad Avenue.

The land owners say it will not displace the current tenants, but rather bring more business to them.

Lauren Baker, Director of 621 Gallery in railroad agrees.

The group advising Governor-elect Ron Desantis on environmental issues met Monday for the first time. Members focused on water quality and supply.

Voter Ballot
MGN Online


Select felons who’ve completed their sentence will be eligible to vote come January 8th, following the passage of amendment 4. As Blaise Gainey reports Elections officials met this week to discuss how to add the roughly 1.5 million extra voters to the list.

rescue drive street sign in front of hurricane debris
FWC Photo by Tim Donovan (Flickr) / Florida Fish and Wildlife

Hurricane Michael left more than 400,000 Floridians without power. The state-backed, Citizens Property insurance company sent more than 50 staff members into the hardest hit areas. Thursday officials with the company met by phone to review their post-hurricane efforts.

Florida Association of Counties

Two north Florida commissioners sit among top leadership positions for the Florida Association of Counties.

From the left Appropriations Chairs Rep. Richard Corcoran, R-Lutz, and Sen. Tom Lee, R-Brandon, begin the compromise process as full conference committee met June 11, 2015, while finalizing key portions of the state's budget within Criminal and Civil Just
Mark Foley / Florida House of Representatives

Governor-elect Ron DeSantis has reached across the aisle, picking Democratic State Representative Jared Moskowitz to lead the Division of Emergency Management. DeSantis has also tapped former Republican Speaker of the House Richard Corcoran to head the Department of Education. 

Florida Cabinet

A scheduled Wednesday meeting of Florida’s clemency board has been called off because of the death of former President George H.W. Bush and a memorial service in Washington, D.C.

Governor Rick Scott and state Cabinet members sit on the board. It’s the last clemency meeting before Amendment 4 goes into effect. When asked what the scheduling change means for Floridians hoping to have their rights restored Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam says, “I don’t know the answer to it I assume that it’s postponed.”

Governor Rick Scott and the cabinet honored the 2018 Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame Class Tuesday. Among the new members is former Tallahassee Mayor John Marks who served overseas at war and later here in Tallahassee.

“If you want to know the truth I’ve got 26 years of government service, I was 4 years in united states air force, I served 10 years at the state level at the Public Service Commission, then I served 12 years as the mayor of the city of Tallahassee. Public service is in my blood I really really truly like it, or love it matter of fact,” Marks says.

Blaise Gainey

With Thanksgiving in the past people are now focusing on Christmas season and what better way than to pick out your Christmas tree from one of more than 100 Christmas tree farms in Florida. Sticking with tradition this morning Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam presented a Christmas tree to the Governor and cabinet members.

Blaise Gainey


   It’s still several months from the primary elections but Governor Rick Scott and former governor Charlie Crist have already begun to take shots at one another. They’ve been going back and forth lately about in-state tuition for children of undocumented immigrants.  Crist stands behind the idea, and during a luncheon at Tiger Bay Tuesday he urged the governor and Republican leaders in the legislature to do the same.

City of St. Marks

  Cleanup of the former St. Marks Refinery is now underway.

Thursday marked the start of the former St. Marks Refinery clean-up project. The site was abandoned in 2003 when the cancerous chemical dioxin was found. Now, a little over a decade later, St. Marks is entering its final step of the clean-up process. The City of Tallahassee and its Community Redevelopment Agency are giving St. Marks $200,000 to fund the project.

Cynthia Barber directs Tallahassee’s Environmental Policy and Energy Resources Department, and believes Tallahassee will benefit from the project.