LISTEN LIVE

Steve Bousquet

Steve Bousquet has covered state government and politics for three decades at the Sun Sentinel,  Tampa Bay Times and Miami Herald. He was the Times' Tallahassee bureau chief from 2005 to 2018 and has also covered city and county politics in Broward County. He has a master's degree in U.S. history from Florida State.

Tampa Bay Times sections
CARL LISCIANDRELLO/WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

The big news in Florida Monday wasn’t only about the pandemic. It was also about one of the state’s most important news outlets, announcing it would only publish a print edition two days a week.  Partly as a result of the economic devastation caused by the coronavirus, the Tampa Bay Times is doing the unthinkable and the decision is raising concerns and increasing anxiety in the newspaper industry.

The COVID-19 pandemic is creating unprecedented demands for help on virtually every government service in Florida. At the top of the list is the state unemployment assistance program, which is widely regarded as one of the stingiest of any state. 

Within the next decade, 25% of Floridians will be over 60, and so will most new residents relocating to the state. As Florida grays, there’s greater demands on healthcare and related services. State funding has fallen behind. Now Broward County thinks it has an idea to address the coming “Silver Tsunami” but it needs the legislature to help.