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All checks, no balance: A Herald/Times special report

As Florida lawmakers arrive in Tallahassee for the 2011 session, few dispute that a sea change has swept through the Capitol in recent years.

Term limits ushered in an era that gives lawmakers less time to master the art of legislative politics while accelerating their campaigns for the next political office. Super-parties have emerged from a mish-mash of campaign finance laws. The power of a 40-member Senate and 120-member House has been concentrated among a few select lawmakers. And pro-consumer ideas are often drowned out by the drumbeat of special interests.
In a special report to be published Sunday, the Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau examines institutional problems within a Legislature that has struggled to push the state out of its economic crisis.