Make us your home page
Instagram

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

link
  1. As Scott touts sales tax holiday, tax group labels it 'poor policy'

    Blog

    Gov. Rick Scott was in Miami Wednesday to promote the state's upcoming three-day back-to-school sales tax holiday (Aug. 4-6 for backpacks and certain other school items that cost $60 or less). A photo released by the governor's office shows Scott surrounded by young children at the Office Depot Foundation, where he said he's working to help every Florida child get "a great education." Tax holidays have always been a part of the tax-cut agenda of the governor, who claims to have cut taxes by $7 billion since he took office....

  2. Corcoran rearranges House deck chairs; more changes ahead

    Blog

    House Speaker Richard Corcoran is reshuffling the leadership deck chairs with more changes to come in the weeks ahead.

    The Land O'Lakes Republican announced Tuesday that Rep. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, is the new chairman of the Commerce Committee, replacing Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, R-Miami, who resigned to run for an open Senate seat in Miami-Dade. Boyd had been chairman of the Ways & Means Committee that writes tax legislation, but Rep. Paul Renner, R-Palm Coast, who recently won a GOP caucus vote to be House speaker in the 2022-2024 cycle, will be its new chairman. Renner, a redshirt freshman, had held no chairmanship, and he carried the torch in the 2017 session for Corcoran's agenda on tourism and economic development issues, which brought Renner a lot of grief from Gov. Rick Scott and local tourism leaders....

    House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes
  3. Putnam, Corcoran, Latvala converge at sheriffs' summer event

    Blog

    The leading Republican candidate for governor and two would-be rivals converged on Bonita Springs this week for the summer conference of Florida sheriffs.

    Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam addressed the group Monday as did House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes. Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, is there Tuesday. So is Gov. Rick Scott as he plots a run for U.S. Senate....

    A sheriff's patrol car at a crime scene in Hillsborough.
  4. Pete Antonacci confirmed as Enterprise Fla. CEO at $165,000

    Blog

    A "nationwide search for Pete Antonacci" came to a quick conclusion Monday as Enterprise Florida's board of directors voted unanimously to make him the job-recruitment agency's new president and chief executive officer.

    Hired without a formal search, Antonacci arrives with the strong backing of the most important person in EFI's world, Gov. Rick Scott, who delivered a strong endorsement of his former legal adviser....

    Pete Antonacci
  5. Services set for former Hillsborough lawmaker John Ryals, 84

    Blog

    Services will be held Thursday for former state Rep. John Ryals of Brandon, who represented Hillsborough, Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties in the state House for 14 years. A Democrat and a Plant City native, Ryals served from 1966 to 1980. He died July 19. A funeral service will be held at First Baptist Church of Plant City, with visitation one hour prior to the service. Interment will follow at Oaklawn Cemetery in Plant City....

    Former Rep. John Ryals (right) with Speaker Don Tucker in 1977.
  6. Florida doesn't make it easy for those wishing to regain their vote

    Blog

    Adam McCracken has a Ph.D., practices psychology in Orlando and is married with two sons.

    But for 25 years, the state of Florida said he couldn't be a full-fledged citizen because of a long-ago drug conviction.

    McCracken served 10 months in a federal prison and five years on probation for possession with intent to distribute LSD.

    It was a serious mistake. It happened in 1991. He was 21....

    Gov. Rick Scott listens to Attorney General Pam Bondi. Both serve on the state Board of Executive Clemency, which restores, or more often doesn't, the civil rights of those convicted of a felony after they serve out their sentences.
  7. Richard Corcoran hires consultants who did Trump's TV ads

    Blog

    House Speaker Richard Corcoran's Watchdog PAC has hired Jamestown Associates, the Philadelphia-based Republican media firm that shaped Donald Trump's TV ad campaign against Hillary Clinton in 2016.

    The firm's CEO, Larry Weitzner, and Barney Keller will provide strategic advice to Corcoran as he considers a possible run for governor of Florida next year. They will join with the Fort Lauderdale-based pollster Tony Fabrizio, who has advised Gov. Rick Scott in addition to a long list of GOP candidates around the country. Adding Jamestown Associates is likely to accomplish the obvious goal of generating more buzz about Corcoran's political plans....

    Richard Corcoran
  8. Florida's silent civil rights struggle: Thousands wait decades to regain the right to vote

    Perspective

    TALLAHASSEE — Adam McCracken has a Ph.D., practices psychology in Orlando and is married with two sons.

    But for 25 years, the state of Florida said he couldn't be a full-fledged citizen because of a long-ago drug conviction.

    McCracken served 10 months in a federal prison and five years on probation for possession with intent to distribute LSD.

    It was a serious mistake. It happened in 1991. He was 21....

    Detravious Smith, 37, of Orlando, has spent years trying to regain the right to vote, and finally succeeded.
  9. Pam Bondi settles tolls complaint against Avis, Budget and Payless

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Attorney General Pam Bondi on Tuesday announced an out-of-court settlement with three major rental car companies that were targeted by consumers being charged excessive fees at "cashless" toll booths in Florida .

    Bondi said Avis, which also owns Budget and Payless rental car companies, have agreed to "clearly and conspicuously" disclose that it charges customers $3.95 a day to consumers who rent their cars and who encounter toll booths that allow only electronic payments. An announcement from Bondi's office said the three companies also must disclose on their web sites and in online reservation paths and at the rental car counter the fee and how consumers can avoid it....

    Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. [AP Photo | Steve Cannon]
  10. Pam Bondi settles consumer complaints against 3 rental car firms

    Blog

    Attorney General Pam Bondi on Tuesday announced an out-of-court settlement with three major rental car companies that were targets of complaints by consumers about being charged excessive fees at "cashless" toll booths in Florida.

    Bondi said Avis, which also owns Budget and Payless rental car companies, have agreed to "clearly and conspicuously" disclose that they charge $3.95 a day to consumers who rent their cars and who encounter toll booths that allow only electronic payments. An announcement from Bondi's office said the three companies also must disclose on their web sites and in online reservation paths and at the rental car counter the fee and how consumers can avoid it....

  11. Lawmakers blast Brevard move to fight Puerto Rico statehood

    Blog

    Four state House members, two Republicans and two Democrats, are fighting a symbolic effort by the Brevard County Commission to oppose statehood for Puerto Rico.

    They are Republican Reps. Bob Cortes of Altamonte Springs and Rene "Coach" Plasencia of Orlando, and Democrats John Cortes of Kissimmee and Shevrin Jones of West Park in Broward County. In their letter to the county commission, all four identify themselves as being of Puerto Rican descent and say the county's proposal is unnecessary, improper and counter-productive. (Only Plasencia represents part of Brevard)....

    Rep. Bob Cortes, R-Altamonte Springs
  12. Murderers leave Florida's death row after Hurst ruling; system 'a mess,' expert says

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — The full impact of a historic U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Florida's death penalty system is finally emerging as the state's death row population is smaller than it was more than a decade ago, and will keep shrinking for a long time.

    Florida has not executed a death row inmate in 18 months. No inmates haves been sent to death row in more than a year, a sign that prosecutors are not trying as many first-degree murder cases because of uncertainties in the sentencing system....

    Carr
  13. Jimmy Patronis sworn in as Florida's new chief financial officer

    Blog

    TALLAHASSEE -- Jimmy Patronis took the oath of office Friday morning as Florida's new chief financial officer in Gov. Rick Scott's Capitol office. As Scott looked on, Chief Justice Jorge Labarga of the Florida Supreme Court administered the oath of office.

    Calling the appointment "an incredible honor," Patronis, 45, was accompanied by his wife, Katie, and their two sons, Theo and Johnny. A Panama City restaurateur, former Republican state House member and former member of the Public Service Commission, Patronis becomes the state's fourth CFO. He succeeds Jeff Atwater, who resigned after six-and-a-half years in office to take a senior administrative position at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton....

  14. Gunning for governor, Adam Putnam drops by Clearwater for a 'special' announcement

    State Roundup

    CLEARWATER — Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, the leading Republican candidate for governor, announced on Thursday a $5 fee cut for concealed weapons licenses and renewals.

    "It is a commitment of mine that we continue to protect, strengthen and expand our Second Amendment rights," Putnam said Thursday while visiting the Pinellas County Tax Collector's office, asserting at least four times that the fee reduction supported Second Amendment rights....

    Pinellas Tax Collector Charles W. Thomas, left, listens to gubernatorial candidate and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam talk about the concealed weapons fee change.
  15. Florida's death row population lower today than it was in 2005

    Blog

    With Florida's death penalty laws under sustained attack in the courts, the state has not executed an inmate in 18 months, and the number of inmates on death row keeps dropping.

    Florida's death row population is now at its lowest level in more than a decade as courts continue to vacate death sentences and order new sentencings for convicted killers, in most cases as a direct result of the precedent-setting Timothy Hurst case that struck down the state's death penalty sentencing system as unconstitutional....

    The execution chamber at Florida State Prison