Blaise Gainey

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

The Florida State University football team fired its head coach after the team took another loss, making Willie Taggart’s record 9-12 while in charge of the Seminoles. The University held a press conference to discuss the decision.

Florida’s Secretary of State Laurel Lee says her department needs more money to help with elections security.

Most Florida felons had their voting rights restored after the passage of 2018’s Amendment 4. Earlier this year the legislature put in place a law that tied rights restoration to the repayment of all fines and fees. But, a ruling from U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle says the state can’t deny the right to vote based on a failure to pay, as long as a person genuinely can’t.

The Florida Education Association is visiting 30 counties and advocating for better funding for public education. They will make 50 stops on the tour. President Fedrick Ingram, says he is going directly to the people most affected by the decades of underfunding for public schools.

North Florida could be getting its first major toll road thanks to a bill signed by the Governor this summer. It’s one of three new major roadways to be built in the state. One would connect Collier County to Polk County, another extends the Florida Turnpike west to Suncoast Parkway and the third expands the Suncoast Parkway from Tampa Bay to Georgia. A task force was put in place for each section but a member of the Northern Turnpike Connector thinks plans are moving too fast.

Attorney General Ashley Moody is asking the Florida Supreme Court to block a proposed assault weapons ban from going in front of voters. Moody claims the proposed constitutional amendment is misleading and deceitful. Now Democrats are pushing back.

Currently, there are four ways Florida’s constitution can be changed. One method is through the Constitution Revision Commission or CRC. The group meets every twenty years to propose changes or additions to the constitution – giving voters the final say.

The last CRC met in 2018 and caused controversy by bundling several unrelated ideas. Now some lawmakers want the group dissolved for good. 

An amendment allowing felons to register to vote in Florida has been in effect since January 8th, but verifying which felons are eligible has proven problematic. The State’s Restoration of Voting Rights Work Group met today to figure out how to ease the problem.

Antwann Brown, the suspect who police say stabbed five people at Dyke Industries Wednesday morning, is being held with no bond. He faces five counts of attempted murder and one for aggravated assault.

The state could see a $30 million drop in sales tax revenue if an amendment banning assault weapons in Florida is passed. 

The American Civil Liberties Union is challenging the constitutionality of a law that allows certain felons to vote but requires them to pay any fees associated with their sentence first. Critics call the new rule a poll tax. But the bill’s author argues he simply followed the language voters approved in a 2018 amendment. Now the Judge presiding over the case is questioning whether the amendment itself violates the constitution. I spoke with ACLU lawyer Julie Ebenstein to get the groups' view.

Florida A&M University and its union workers are at an impasse over their collective bargaining agreement. Monday morning both sides met with Special Magistrate Adrienne Trott to express their concerns.

Based on referrals from the Florida Department of Children and Families four arrests have been made in North Florida relation to exploiting seniors and disabled individuals.

Florida’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research known as EDR is tasked with predicting outcomes of proposed legislation, new laws, or constitutional amendments. But a new law has now changed how much work goes into predicting petition initiatives. EDR’s Coordinator Amy Baker spoke about what the changes mean.

What sounds really simple is turning out to be a lot more complicated than perhaps sponsors of an assault weapon ban thought. State estimators are struggling to define what the wording of the proposed ban would mean should it pass.

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