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Steve Bousquet, Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau

Steve Bousquet

Steve Bousquet is the Tampa Bay Times' Tallahassee bureau chief. He joined the Times in 2001 after 17 years at the Miami Herald, where he held a variety of positions including Tallahassee bureau chief, and he previously was a reporter at TV stations in Miami and Providence, R.I. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Rhode Island and a master's in history from Florida State University.

Bousquet was a contributor to two editions of The Almanac of Florida Politics and to The Miami Herald Report: Democracy Held Hostage, an account of the 2000 presidential recount in Florida.

Phone: (850) 224-7263

Email: sbousquet@tampabay.com

Twitter: @SteveBousquet

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  1. Rep. Cary Pigman facing DUI charge after stop on Turnpike

    Blog

    State Rep. Cary Pigman, R-Avon Park, was charged with driving under the influence early Friday after a state trooper stopped his Jeep on Florida's Turnpike in St. Lucie County and a Breathalyzer test showed that his blood alcohol level was .15, nearly twice the legal limit.

    A Florida Highway Patrol arrest affidavit said Pigman's vehicle, with the Florida license tag H55, was weaving in and out of its southbound lane as the lawmaker headed home to Okeechobee County after the third week of the legislative session in Tallahassee....

    Rep. Cary Pigman, R-Avon Park
  2. 'Trial lawyers are on the march' and Florida Chamber's 'Capitol Days' are more like 'Dreary Days'

    Blog

    One by one, Republican lawmakers delivered dreary news at the Florida Chamber of Commerce's "Capitol Days" Tuesday in Tallahassee. On issue after issue, pro-business bills are stalled, from curbing growing abuses in property insurance claims to changing the workers' comp system. Business is battling a lawyer-friendly bill to require courts to add interest payments in cases won by plaintiffs.

    "Trial lawyers are on the march," Steve Knopik, CEO of the Bealls clothing retailer, told Rep. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, who didn't argue. "It feels like we're just getting trampled on."...

     Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, said it's "just wrong" for Richard Corcoran to force House members to go on record on such a controversial issue when it has no chance of passage because a similar bill isn't teed up in the Senate.
  3. Rick Scott's spokeswoman calls Richard Corcoran 'hypocritical'

    Blog

    Gov. Rick Scott's chief spokeswoman, Jackie Schutz, called out House Speaker Richard Corcoran Tuesday for being "very hypocritical" in his efforts to abolish Enterprise Florida as the state's taxpayer-funded program to attract jobs to the state.

    Schutz asked the Times/Herald if she could comment in response to a story about an unusual coincidence in which Corcoran's law firm, Broad & Cassel, has earned more than $235,000 doing legal work for Enterprise Florida and two related corporations over the past three years. Corcoran, who has called Enterprise Florida an "absolute cesspool," had no role in any of the legal work and said he was not aware that his firm did work for Enterprise Florida. (The previous reporting is here)....

    Jackie Schutz (left) is Gov. Rick Scott's chief spokeswoman
  4. Small world: Enterprise Florida and Richard Corcoran's law firm

    Blog

    A priority for House Speaker Richard Corcoran in this year's legislative session is abolishing Enterprise Florida, the "unreformable" taxpayer-supported program that uses state money to attract private employers that Corcoran considers a complete failure.

    Clearly, Enterprise Florida is no fan of Corcoran, so it may come as a surprise that the agency has repeatedly given legal work to Broad & Cassel, the law firm that employs the House speaker....

    House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes
  5. Speaker Richard Corcoran: 'We're ready' for a special session

    Blog

    House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes, told business and civic leaders in Pensacola that he and the House are ready for a special session this spring.

    He made the remark to the Panhandle Tiger Bay Club Friday in a luncheon speech about the House's insistence that Enterprise Florida be abolished. He called EFI an "absolute cesspool" that's "unreformable." What's needed, Corcoran said, is "a true and fair and just free market system," a remark that brought applause from the audience of about 200 people.  Here's Corcoran, verbatim, on the need for a special session if necessary to abolish Enterprise Florida:...

    House Speaker Richard Corcoran, center, spoke with former Senate President Don Gaetz, left, after his Tiger Bay speech.
  6. Why is Richard Corcoran hitting the road now?

    Blog

    As most Florida lawmakers headed home over the weekend, House Speaker Richard Corcoran hit the road and continued to build a statewide profile.

    Corcoran delivered what sounded like a stump speech Friday to 200 people at the monthly meeting of the Panhandle Tiger Bay Club in Pensacola, in a solidly-Republican city that twice supported Gov. Rick Scott, his top enemy in the current furor over jobs and tourism....

    Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes
  7. Richard Corcoran leaves the Capitol behind as he campaigns around the state

    State Roundup

    PENSACOLA — As most Florida lawmakers headed home over the weekend, House Speaker Richard Corcoran hit the road and continued to build a statewide profile.

    Corcoran delivered what sounded like a stump speech Friday to 200 people at the monthly meeting of the Panhandle Tiger Bay Club in Pensacola, in a solidly-Republican city that twice supported Gov. Rick Scott, his top enemy in the current furor over jobs and tourism....

    Richard Corcoran, R-Land O’Lakes, is active on social media, promoting his work in the Legislature.
  8. House Republicans move plan that would deny food stamps to 229,000 Floridians

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — In a partisan clash, a key House committee voted Wednesday to deny food stamps to an estimated 229,000 Floridians, most of them children, and including seniors, veterans and people with disabilities.

    The House Appropriations Committee passed a bill (HB 581) by freshman Rep. Frank White, R-Pensacola, that would restore income eligibility for households for food stamps to 130 percent of the poverty level, the minimum level set by the federal government. The household income standard was raised to 200 percent of poverty following the Great Recession of 2008 and 2009, which expanded the population eligible for food stamps. Florida remains one of 43 states with that broader eligibility standard....

    Rep. Carlos Trujillo, R-Miami, says the bill is needed to help reduce food stamp fraud.
  9. Partisan House fight on GOP plan to cut food stamps to children, seniors, disabled

    Blog

    In a partisan clash, a key House committee voted Wednesday to deny food stamps to an estimated 229,000 Floridians, most of them children and including seniors, veterans and people with disabilities.

    The House Appropriations Committee passed a bill (HB 581) by freshman Rep. Frank White, R-Pensacola, that would restore income eligibility for households for food stamps to 130 percent of the poverty level, the minimum level set by the federal government. The household income standard was raised to 200 percent of poverty following the Great Recession of 2008 and 2009, which expanded the population eligible for food stamps. Florida remains one of 43 states with that broader eligibility standard....

    House Appropriations Chair Carlos Trujillo, R-Miami.
  10. A parade of pork: Florida lawmakers seek $2.6 billion in hometown spending

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE

    After years of secretly stashing money into budgets with little public scrutiny, state lawmakers are being forced to defend their requests for hometown projects in broad daylight.

    In Florida's Capitol, that's called reform.

    It's part of House Speaker Richard Corcoran's agenda to drag discretionary pork-barrel spending out of the shadows and force every lawmaker to put their names on their projects....

    Requests $2 million for several additions and upgrades, including an additional 5,000 square feet to the hall’s main lobby and a new 250-seat theater.
  11. House lawmakers compile $2.7 billion wishlist for hometown projects

    Blog

    After years of secretly stashing money into budgets with little public scrutiny, state lawmakers are being forced to defend their requests for hometown projects in broad daylight.

    In Florida’s Capitol, that’s called reform.

    It’s part of House Speaker Richard Corcoran’s agenda to drag discretionary pork-barrel spending out of the shadows.

    But if the goal was to shame lawmakers into taming their appetites for spending, it hasn’t happened....

    Lennard High sophomores Fernanda Gonzalez (left) and Janely Rodriguez walk to class at Hillsborough Community College on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016. Gonzalez, Rodriguez and their RCMA colleagues walk from Lennard's campus to Hillsborough Community College after lunch to take college-level classes.
  12. Federal lawsuit challenges 'arbitrary' Florida clemency system

    Blog

    A federal lawsuit filed Monday against Gov. Rick Scott and the three elected Cabinet members seeks to end Florida's "unconstitutionally arbitrary" system for restoring the civil rights of convicted felons.

    A voting rights group, the Fair Elections Legal Network, filed a complaint in U.S. District Court in Tallahassee on behalf of seven felons. The lawsuit says 1.6 million Floridians are currently disenfranchised, the most of any state, and that more than 10,000 are awaiting public hearings on their restoration applications....

    Orville (Lee) Wollard's 2015 petition for clemency was rejected by Gov. Rick Scott without explanation.
  13. In 'the bubble,' new House Democrats feel the heat from GOP

    Blog

    The 45 freshmen in the Florida House will cast their first big votes Friday, and they'll have to choose sides in the battle between House Speaker Richard Corcoran and Gov. Rick Scott.

    The question of whether to abolish Enterprise Florida and other state-run economic incentive programs is also about who has more clout with members -- Corcoran or the governor. The Senate shows little interest in this issue and Scott would veto it if it reached his desk, so the fight looks like a mostly symbolic test of Corcoran's clout. He wants an overwhelming House vote, above 80, the number needed to override a Scott veto, and because some of the 79 Republicans will vote against the bill, he needs Democrats, giving the outnumbered minority real clout early in the session (22 of 41 Democrats are new to the House).   ...

    Rep. Carlos Trujillo, R-Miami, is the House Appropriations Committee chairman.
  14. Florida Senate approves requirement for unanimous jury in death penalty cases

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Eager to let prosecutors pursue the death penalty again, the Florida Senate acted quickly Thursday to pass a court-mandated fix to Florida's sentencing laws.

    The measure requires all 12 members of a jury to approve a death sentence. If just one juror dissents, convicted murderers are sentenced to life in prison.

    Last October, the Florida Supreme Court threw out the state's death sentencing law, which required the jury to vote 10-2 in favor of capital punishment. In doing so, the justices forced the Legislature's hand, requiring them to fix state law if they wanted to allow prosecutions to move forward in death cases....

     Rep. Chris Sprowls, R- Palm Harbor, right, during death penalty bill debate. On left is Rep. Ross Spano, R-Dover.
  15. House Speaker Corcoran takes aim at Florida university foundation spending

    Blog

    House Speaker Richard Corcoran is turning his fiscal wrath on a new and more powerful target: the state university system, under fire for worldwide travel, lavish salaries and using public money to attract private donations.

    Corcoran's chief budget-writer, Rep. Carlos Trujillo, R-Miami, invited officials of all 12 universities to the Capitol to justify their spending, laying the groundwork for what's expected to be a bipartisan House strategy to slash their spending - a year after giving them tens of millions of dollars for new projects....