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

Florida lawmakers are hearing from the public on issues such as election reform, public school funding and mental health. From Broward to Bay counties, they’re getting an earful from the public on exactly where the focus should be during the 2019 legislative session.

Florida lawmakers are hearing from the public on Election Reform, Public School Funding and Mental Health. From Broward to Bay, legislators are getting an earful from the public on exactly where the focus should be during the 2019 legislative session.

A plethora of constitutional amendments were passed on the 2018 ballot. From banning greyhound racing, offshore drilling, to allowing voters to choose whether or not to open a casino in their district. WFSU News Reporter Blaise Gainey gives us the gist of what these new changes mean.

After two suicides by first responders this week, Hillsborough county residents are pushing lawmakers to focus on mental health this upcoming session.

Executives with Visit Florida must choose a new CEO after Ken Lawson was chosen to head the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. Committee members are debating what type of person should have that job.

Election supervisors say they can start registering felons to vote next month without legislative action. But one supervisor says there's one change that could make implementing Amendment 4 a bit easier.


North Florida lawmakers sat through 3.5 hours of public testimony at Monday night’s Leon county delegation meeting. The subjects bounced from education, criminal justice reform, and a pay raise for state workers.

Governor-elect Ron Desantis’s environmental transition team is focusing on water quality and supply. But when climate change didn’t come up in the team’s discussions, advocates for environmental protection took action.

The Florida House Democratic Caucus wants to meet with the Republican Caucus to make plans for fixing what some say is an antiquated election system.  

House Minority Leader Rep. Kionne McGhee says until the state makes changes Florida will be the laughing stock of America.

“If our elections system is questionable, then one has to admit that our democracy becomes questionable,” said McGhee.

Owners of Railroad Square are nearing a deal for a Hyatt House hotel to be built on the corner of Railroad Avenue and FAMU Way.

They believe the hotel will help make the art district a top destination for tourist and locals. Mountain Shore Properties, a family-owned company, will develop the 120 room hotel. This will be their second hotel in Tallahassee they also operate the Hampton Inn on Railroad Avenue.

The land owners say it will not displace the current tenants, but rather bring more business to them.

Lauren Baker, Director of 621 Gallery in railroad agrees.

The group advising Governor-elect Ron Desantis on environmental issues met Monday for the first time. Members focused on water quality and supply.


  

Select felons who’ve completed their sentence will be eligible to vote come January 8th, following the passage of amendment 4. As Blaise Gainey reports Elections officials met this week to discuss how to add the roughly 1.5 million extra voters to the list.

Hurricane Michael left more than 400,000 Floridians without power. The state-backed, Citizens Property insurance company sent more than 50 staff members into the hardest hit areas. Thursday officials with the company met by phone to review their post-hurricane efforts.

Two north Florida commissioners sit among top leadership positions for the Florida Association of Counties.

Governor-elect Ron DeSantis has reached across the aisle, picking Democratic State Representative Jared Moskowitz to lead the Division of Emergency Management. DeSantis has also tapped former Republican Speaker of the House Richard Corcoran to head the Department of Education. 

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