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

While most of the news about state waters has been focused on red tide, those near the Indian River Lagoon have also been dealing with brown tide, which thrives off sewage. Now as Blaise Gainey reports, lawmakers are moving forward with a plan to increase the penalties a company would have to pay for a sewage spill.

A research facility used to study hay production systems, small fruits and medical plants, among other things could receive a one-time lump sum of 1.7 million to help purchase necessary tools thanks to an appropriations bill that passed a committee today. 

Plastic surgery has become more and more common. But some don’t end up going as planned. Sometimes it can result in death. Sen. Anitere Flores (R-Miami) presented a bill she believes will save lives.

On average, Policyholders with the state-backed insurer Citizens Property Insurance could see an 8.2 percent rate hike. Blaise Gainey reports the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation will review the proposal Thursday.

The fight for 15 just got a lot stronger after a proposed amendment was sent to the Supreme Court for review. The proposal would raise the states’ minimum wage to $15 in 2026.

In hopes of meeting Governor Ron Desantis’s March 15th deadline to repeal a ban on smoking medical marijuana, lawmakers in the senate have sent their bill to the Florida House. Bu not without making a few changes first. 

Last year lawmakers made it legal for doctors and patients to enter into a contract agreement directly for certain primary care services. It worked so well that this year legislators want to expand direct care to other physicians.

North Florida’s timber industry suffered a more than one-billion-dollar loss in result of Hurricane Michael. To replace the loss many have proposed hemp farming. Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried has been an advocate of hemp but understands getting North Florida ready to accept it is a process.

Hialeah Representative Bryan Avila filed a bill for the second year in a row that would repeal the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority, reorganize the local Transportation Planning Organization, and require all toll revenue collected in the county to be spent in the county.

It could become even tougher for Florida students to get bright futures scholarships. A senate proposal would match the state score requirements for the SAT and ACT tests to match the national percentile rankings.

Last year a pilot-program established a court aimed at handling child welfare cases involving zero to three year olds. Today a bill took the next step to expand the program statewide.

Local governments would no longer be able to prevent residents from growing vegetable gardens in their front yard if a senate proposal becomes law.

Senate President Bill Galvano’s transportation bill passed its first committee today but not without debate from those who are opposed to the proposal. And they’re not the only ones who don’t see eye to eye with Galvano, Governor Ron DeSantis is also opposed to a plan that would more toll roads to be built in Florida.

City Commissioner Curtis Richardson and other officials unveiled the last marker designating a stretch of Orange Avenue as C.K. Steele Memorial Highway.

The Florida Panhandle is having a rough time recovering from Hurricane Michael, and an even harder time finding ways to fund reconstruction. 

Pages