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

One of the first bills ready for a vote by the full Senate would stop local governments from regulating sunscreen. It’s one of several preemption bills that has been filed this session.

Kids who get arrested can get their records cleared if they complete a diversion program. But it’s currently limited, so Senator Keith Perry wants to expand it.

The Florida Supreme Court has struck down the Citizens for Energy Choices ballot initiative. They say the ballot summary tells voters they are granted a personal right to sell electricity but that’s not what the amendment would do.

Florida state workers haven’t gotten a pay raise since 2008. Now the public employee union is calling for one. But if state negotiators have their way, that won’t happen without the legislature stepping in.

Florida currently allows medical marijuana use and St. Petersburg Republican Senator Jeff Brandes thinks it’s time to take the next step to recreational. The drug is currently legal in 11 states for recreational use, and the majority of states allow medical marijuana.

"I would be shocked if we don’t have adult use in Florida by 2024 just via the constitutional amendment," says Brandes. "I think it’s time for the legislature to take this issue on so we’re going to be proposing legislation this year that would allow for adult use cannabis in Florida."

State workers in Florida haven’t gotten an across-the-board pay raise since before Gov. Rick Scott took office. State senators are looking at how they may be able to fit a pay raise into this year’s budget.

Governor Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday Florida is officially partnering with ERIC or the Electronic Registration Information Center. It's a non-partisan organization that essentially creates a multi-state database.

A lack of affordable housing will soon be a problem in more parts of Florida. According to a Florida Housing Coalition report, 921,928 very low-income households are spending more than half of  what they earn on housing.

Florida Democrats and Republicans are united in opposing a constitutional amendment proposal opening the state’s primary elections to all voters regardless of party. The Florida Supreme Court got an earful Tuesday as it weighs whether the amendment can go before voters.

Governor Ron DeSantis will have to make two new appointments to the Florida Supreme Court. The U.S. Senate recently okayed moving two Florida justices to federal court positions. The Judicial Nominating Commission is the Florida group in charge of vetting applications before sending a list of names to the Governor. Leon County Attorney Jason Unger spoke about the process of hiring new judges.


Florida is the first state to receive block grants for the timber industry from the United States Department of Agriculture.

The Florida State University football team fired its head coach Sunday after the team took another loss, making Willie Taggart’s record 9-12 while in charge of the Seminoles. FSU Athletics Director David Coburn addressed the media a day later to talk about a search for a new coach two years after hiring Taggart. 

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.

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