Thursday, March 17, 2011

How term limits reshaped Florida politics — for better or worse

Most committee chairmanships now change hands every two years because term limits don’t allow enough time for long apprenticeships on tax policy, insurance or healthcare regulation. To that end, today’s less-experienced legislators must rely more on the knowledge of staff members and lobbyists.

Another by-product of term limits are the frenzied fights among newly-elected lawmakers to nail down the House speakership years ahead of time, before the newbies have even cast a vote.

Money is an unending object of derision in Tallahassee, and term limits have accelerated the pace of fundraising.

Some freshmen House members who were elected in November have already started raising money for their 2012 campaigns and the 2011 session hasn’t even begun.

Campaigns are costlier and nastier than ever, which heightens the fundraising frenzy.

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