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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. The state of Florida's shrinking and revolving-door work force

    Blog

    The state government workforce continued to get smaller Gov. Rick Scott over the past year, and Florida has the fewest full-time state workers in proportion to its population of any state, according to a report released Friday.

    The annual workforce report, produced by the state Department of Management Services, includes these findings:

    * The total number of full-time state worker positions at the end of the last fiscal year was 97,700, compared to 104,134 in 2012, which was a year after Scott became governor. The actual number of employees was 88,991, which is 5.6 percent below the number in 2012....

    How Florida compares to all other states in the number of state employees
  2. House Speaker Richard Corcoran on tax increase for schools: 'Hell no'

    Blog

    House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes, has two simple words for Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Senate on taxes and spending: "Hell, no."

    Corcoran says he won't compromise on the question of whether the Legislature should write a budget that includes nearly $500 million more in local property taxes from Florida homeowners to hit Scott's target of a K-12 spending increase, under a program known as required local effort. Scott and Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart, don't consider that a tax increase because the property tax rate would stay the same. The extra money would come from rising property values paid by homeowners and businesses....

  3. VIDEO: On school spending, Corcoran has two words for Gov. Scott, Florida Senate: 'Hell no'

    Blog

    House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes, has two simple words for Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Senate on taxes and spending: "Hell, no."

    Corcoran says he won't compromise on the question of whether the Legislature should write a budget that includes nearly $500 million more in local property taxes from Florida homeowners to hit Scott's target of a K-12 spending increase, under a program known as required local effort. Scott and Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart, don't consider that a tax increase because the property tax rate would stay the same. The extra money would come from rising property values paid by homeowners and businesses....

    House Speaker Richard Corcoran's message to Gov. Scott and Senate on using property taxes to fund a boost in K-12: "Hell, no"
  4. Should food stamps be used to buy soda and candy? A Tampa Bay lawmaker says no

    Blog

    Should people who get food stamps in Florida be allowed to buy candy and soda with them? A newly-elected Tampa Bay legislator says no, and he's pushing to change state law to prevent it.

    MassulloRepublican Rep. Ralph Massullo of Lecanto is one of 24 GOP freshmen in the state House and represents parts of Hernando and Citrus counties on the North Suncoast. He's also an industrial engineer and a dermatologist who says that something has to be done about the rising rates of obesity in the U.S., especially among children....

    A Florida EBT card
  5. Richard Corcoran's offer: Keep Visit Florida, slash budget to $25 million, end bonuses, freeze benefits, cut travel

    Blog

    On the eve of a key committee vote, Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran on Monday offered what he considers an olive branch: He would let Visit Florida survive but with a much-reduced annual budget of $25 million and restrictions on bonuses, benefits and travel.

    Gov. Rick Scott's office responded by calling a "67 percent cut to tourism marketing" unacceptable, and said: "More than a million Florida families rely on jobs in our tourism industry and are threatened with this massive cut." Scott's office said he supports transparency and accountability at Visit Florida and has proved it with "changes (and) new leadership at Visit Florida."...

    House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes
  6. Rick Scott, reacting to Buzz blog post, calls out 'absurd' House Republicans for 'hypocrisy' and 'playing games'

    Blog

    Gov. Rick Scott on Monday went after "absurd" House Republicans for "hypocrisy" and "playing games" in response to a post on this blog that quoted two high-ranking GOP lawmakers as saying they would vote to wipe out Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida as part of a broader "conversation" about the future of the jobs and tourism programs.

    The earlier blog post that immediately got the governor's attention can be found here....

  7. 'A tough spot': 20 more House Republicans have to choose between Rick Scott and Richard Corcoran

    Blog

    It's robo-call time for 20 more Republicans in the Florida House. They are the GOP members of the House Appropriations Committee who are set to vote Tuesday on one of Speaker Richard Corcoran's top priorities: a bill dismantling Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida (HB 7005).

    This is the issue that has created a major rift between Corcoran and Gov. Rick Scott, who supports retaining the two programs that Corcoran calls "corporate welfare" and "the government picking winners and losers." Scott has aggressively turned up the heat on the bill's supporters, including robo-calls to their constituents, a tactic usually seen in the heat of an election campaign....

  8. The nine little words that could cause a legislative train wreck

    Blog

    The 2017 legislative session begins in Tallahassee in about two-and-a-half weeks and the Senate and House are still hashing out details of a critical joint rule so that writing a budget can get underway.

    Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart, tells the Times/Herald that he and House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes, are making progress, but stumbling blocks remain, including a standoff over nine words in House Rule 5.14: "An appropriations project bill may only request nonrecurring funds."...

    Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart
  9. Richard Corcoran takes his fight with Rick Scott behind closed doors

    National

    TALLAHASSEE — House Speaker Richard Corcoran, who vowed a "new era of transparency," called a private caucus of Republican lawmakers and urged them to "stand strong" in the face of opposition to his plan to shut down the state's two largest economic development programs.

    Corcoran invited his GOP colleagues to a Wednesday night reception at the Edison, a trendy Tallahassee restaurant where they watched a taxpayer-funded video that accused Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida of "corruption." The video was made public Thursday....

    Rep. Richard Corcoran said there was no agenda for the reception.
  10. House Democrats call out Republicans' closed-door meeting

    Blog

    House Minority Leader Janet Cruz on Thursday responded to a closed-door caucus meeting held by Republicans in Tallahassee to discuss taking down Enterprise Florida.

    "Transparency when conducting the people’s business is of the utmost importance and that’s why our caucus room is always open to the public," Cruz, D-Tampa, said in a statement....

    Rep. Janet Cruz, D-Tampa, hugs members of her family at a ceremony where Democrats elected her minority leader of the Florida House.
  11. At closed caucus, House Speaker Corcoran rallies lawmakers to keep fighting Gov. Scott and 'stand your ground'

    Blog

    House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes, summoned his fellow Republicans to a private event at an upscale bar and restaurant in Tallahassee Wednesday night, and nearly all of them showed up to hear his message.

    The House Republican caucus meeting at The Edison was closed and a Times/Herald reporter was not allowed to cover what Corcoran said was a social function. The speaker, who has emphasized transparency and accessibility, closed the doors as he played a five-minute video eviscerating Enterprise Florida. The video was produced by the House Majority Office, meaning it was paid for by taxpayers and played at a private event where the media was excluded. The video repeatedly showed the message "No more" and included a graphic that said: "No more picking winners and losers."...

    House Speaker Richard Corcoran rallies his members at a closed-door caucus on Wednesday.
  12. Troubled Pinellas board would face ethics training in House bill

    Blog

    The Florida House is forging full speed ahead with a plan to impose higher ethics laws on most city and town elected officials and to thousands of political appointees to local boards, including the Pinellas outfit that's the target of a grand jury investigation following a series of reports in the Tampa Bay Times....

    Rep. Larry Ahern supports mandatory ethics training for Pinellas Construction Licensing Board members.
  13. A stony silence between Governor Scott and Richard Corcoran speaks volumes

    Blog

    In the heated battle over job incentives and tourism money, Gov. Rick Scott and House Speaker Richard Corcoran are goading each other with tweets, press releases and Scott's media events, like the ones in Tampa on Monday and Panama City on Tuesday.

    But are these two strong-willed Republicans actually talking to each other? No, and that's rarely a good sign in Tallahassee....

  14. House Speaker Richard Corcoran's next target: Florida Lottery

    Blog

    House Speaker Richard Corcoran has demanded extensive financial records from colleges, universities and tourism and economic development boards. He refused to pay "outrageous" legal fees to a state agency. He threatened to sue the chief justice of the state Supreme Court. He planned to impeach a circuit judge.

    Here's the latest. Corcoran plans to file a lawsuit against the Florida Lottery for signing a long-term contract for online games, including a new smartphone app, that costs nearly $700 million but would bind future legislatures, which Corcoran considers a violation of state law. If Corcoran succeeds, the contract would be thrown out and the Lottery would have to bid it all over again....

  15. Angry Corcoran dares Senate to sue him; Negron says it's not happening

    Blog

     Richard CorcoranFlorida House Speaker Richard Corcoran on Thursday dared the Senate to make good on a threatened lawsuit challenging the House's power to impose new budget-writing rules that affect how the Senate crafts a budget, but Senate President Joe Negron responded by saying it's not going to happen....