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

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.

Tara Tedrow has been chosen to chair the group tasked with creating rules for Florida’s newest industry. During which Tedrow gave a quick rundown of what she does during the first Hemp Advisory Committee meeting.

The State Hemp Advisory Committee is trying to kick start Florida’s Hemp industry. One of its first steps is to create rules. Florida’s Director of Cannabis Holly Bell spoke on how that process will move forward.

The way some school districts are choosing to comply with bolstered safety measures has U.S. Sen. Rick Scott (R-Florida) upset. Scott explained the problem to the Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on enhancing school safety.

The first named Hurricane of the 2019 Season skipped Tallahassee but officials say the season is just getting started. They’re urging everyone – especially people who are elderly or disabled – to get prepared in case of a natural disaster. City officials gave a hurricane preparedness presentation Wednesday at the Tallahassee Senior Center.

Governor Ron DeSantis announced plans to expand the state’s infrastructure as it relates to electric vehicles. He announced the plan Wednesday at the Florida Turnpike Headquarters in Orlando.

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