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 any thing involving his daughter.

Follow Blaise Gainey on Twitter: @BlaiseGainey 

Email Blaise Gainey at blgainey@fsu.edu

Blaise Gainey / WFSU-FM

North Florida hasn’t gotten much help from outside sources following October's Category 5 Hurricane Michael. Keiser University made donations to the panhandle area, State and local officials used an event marking a $50,000 donation from Keiser University to continue drawing attention to the area's need for more financial assistance.

Innovated Captures / Adobe Stock

It’s a known fact that smoking tobacco isn’t good for your heart, lung, and can cause cancer. But the leading groups on those very things are opposed to a bill that would raise the age of sale for tobacco products to 21. WFSU’s Blaise Gainey speaks with American Heart Association’s Government Relations Director Mark Landreth about why they oppose the proposed legislation.

David Goldman / AP Photo

Tyndall Air Force Base will host its second Industry Day Thursday to give updates on it recovery efforts. The base was damaged during Hurricane Michael, which has since been upgraded to a Category 5 storm.

Antje Lindert-Rottke / Adobe Stock

An effort to raise the smoking age to 21 is moving forward. The bill’s sponsor hopes the deal will be enough to satisfy opponents and pave the way for greater restrictions on tobacco use.

Florida's capitol complex, as seen from above (undated photo)
WFSU-FM

Earlier this week legislators on the House floor spent nearly two hours debating a bill that would allow certain felons to vote. This is in response to over 5 million citizens agreeing that they should be allowed to do so. Majority of the debate was focused on when a felon would have their voting right restored.

Blaise Gainey / WFSU-FM

Florida’s firefighters are a step closer to gaining cancer coverage. Blaise Gainey reports it’s the culmination of a 16-year-effort.

designer491 / Adobe Stock

Tuesday, lawmakers took a big step in addressing what property insurance companies have called fraud for nearly a decade. It’s called assignment of benefits. The fix makes several changes that lawmakers believe will help lower the cost of homeowner’s insurance.

ottawawebdesign / Adobe Stock

Voters across Florida will likely have a chance to raise the minimum wage during the 2020 election if a constitutional amendment petition gains enough signatures. Florida’s Financial Impact Estimating Conference met today to find out what impact it would have on the state.

Gorodenkoff / Adobe Stock

Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis is throwing his weight behind the firefighter cancer relief bill, one of the main priorities this session.One part of the bill gives a one-time cash payout of $25,000 to firefighters upon their initial cancer diagnosis.

Blaise Gainey talks with the CFO what the bill means for the state’s first responders.

Annap / Adobe Stock

A bill would allow prescription drugs from Canada to be purchased by the Agency for Health Care Administration and imported for use. The hope is that importing the inexpensive drugs will cut down cost for patients.

Stephen Finn / Adobe Stock

A bill that would set a cap on toll roads in Miami-Dade County has passed the full House. Bill sponsor Hialeah Republican Representative Bryan Avila says what the Expressway Authority is not doing its job. 

 

According to a study by the Institute of Medicine published in 2015, paid for by the United States Food and Drug Administration, raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco to 21 would reduce the number of lung cancer related deaths by 50,000.

The Florida legislature is now trying to raise the minimum age with hopes of seeing those results.

House Bill 7065 makes changes to the state’s one-way attorney fees provision when dealing with lawsuits between contractors and property insurance companies.

Blaise Gainey / AP Photo

When Florida is hit by a hurricane, utility companies must go in and help recover immediately. They pay for the cost up front and later charge customers to recoup their losses. A senate bill aims to lower both the price tag and time of recovery by forcing utility companies to strengthen their infrastructure before a storm.

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.

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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.

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