Blaise Gainey

Multimedia Reporter

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.

Follow Blaise Gainey on Twitter: @BlaiseGainey 

Email Blaise Gainey at blgainey@fsu.edu

Florida Gov. Ron Desantis gives his state of the state address on the first day of legislative session, in Tallahassee, Fla.
Steve Cannon / AP Photo

The itinerary is set for Governor Ron DeSantis’s trip to Israel. He will be meeting with Israeli business leaders, and he’ll take a cultural visit to the Old City of Jerusalem.

Homeowners Insurance Application on a table with a pen and book
designer491 / Adobe Stock

Contractors will now have to let insurance companies know when they’ve been assigned a policy holder's benefits. This change comes after Governor Ron DeSantis signed HB 7065, which makes changes to insurance agreements.

Ron DeSantis speaking at the podium.
Wilfredo Lee / AP

Governor Ron DeSantis signed a tax bill Wednesday that is estimated to save Florida families nearly $47 million during two sales tax holidays. Another part of the bill is expected to save commercial real estate renters more than $64 million by reducing the tax rate.

Employees at the Broward County Supervisor of Elections office count ballots from the Mid-term election, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018, in Lauderhill, Fla.
Wilfredo Lee / AP Photo

Most of the discussion about a recently passed elections bill has focused on 2018’s Amendment 4. It restored the right for certain felons to vote. But the bill does many more things aimed at fixing issues within Florida’s elections system.

Governor Ron DeSantis speaking at a podium in his Press Office
Blaise Gainey / WFSU

Governor Ron DeSantis says voter data was stolen in 2016 when election systems in two Florida counties were hacked. Previous reporters had identified only one county, but DeSantis says  the breach didn’t impact voting.

Leon County Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho standing over blown up images of the county's voting precincts.
Kate Payne / WFSU News

The Florida Legislature passed a bill that makes changes to the elections system in the state. It extends the time voters can request a vote-by-mail ballot from 5 days to 10 days. The hope is that it will prevent ballots from being mailed in at the last minute. Former Leon County Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho doesn’t think the change will have much of an effect.

Presidential Candidate Wayne Messam
Brynn Anderson / AP Photo

The Democratic field for the 2020 presidential nomination is crowded with names like Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, and former Vice President Joe Biden. With more than 20 confirmed candidates it can be easy for some to go unnoticed. I spoke with a Florida candidate who says he’s still working to get more recognition. Mayor of Miramar Wayne Messam put his name in the hat back in March.

Trump stepping off of his plane to tour Tyndall Air Force Base.
Blaise Gainey / WFSU-FM

President Donald Trump flew into Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City Wednesday to tour the base and check in on the recovery process ahead of a campaign rally in Panama City Beach.  Officials on the base and the community spoke about what it means to have the President pay them a visit.

Damaged building at Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City
Blaise Gainey / WFSU-FM

Tyndall Air Force Base is still recovering from Hurricane Michael. Currently though as construction still takes place no new projects can be started until they receive more funds from the Congress. 

Hurricane Michael Debris marianna
Shawn Mulcahy / WFSU

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is slated to get nearly 4 million dollars from the federal government to help cover costs of debris removal following Hurricane Michael.

Sigfredo Garcia, 34, is being held at the Broward County Jail. He's charged with the 2014 murder of FSU Law Professor Dan Markel.
Broward Sheriff's Office

Leon Circuit Judge James Hankinson is expected to make a decision this week on whether to postpone the joint trial for the Dan Markel murder case.

Two people standing at voting booths
Burlingham / Adobe Stock

The United States Committee on House Administration held a field hearing Monday to examine voting rights and elections systems in Florida.

files and a gavel. text reads "felon voting"
hafakot / Adobe Stock

Florida lawmakers have passed a bill that details how a felon would go about getting their voting rights restored. It comes on the final day of the regular legislative session and  after 5.1 million Floridians voted in November to give felons who’ve completed their sentence and did not commit a felony sexual assault or murder their voting rights back.

zimmytws / Adobe Stock

Since January 8, felons have been registering to vote as long as they’ve completed their sentence, and did not commit a felony sexual offense or murder. But all session long the legislature has been trying to determine exactly who that excludes. The current bill includes attempted murder, and also makes a felon have to pay off any outstanding civil liens or obligations to the court as a result of their case.

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. 

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