The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

GOP hopes to pick up at least four more Florida House seats

18

September

Steve Bousquet's column: This year marks the effective 10-year anniversary of term limits in Florida.Cause for celebration? Not hardly. Voters decided "eight is enough" in 1992, so limits on terms didn't actually kick in for good until 2000.

Nowhere is the effect of term limits more obvious than in the state House of Representatives, which has devolved into a political revolving door emblazoned with a huge dollar sign.They come and go — Republicans, mostly — and many of them barely leave a set of footprints. They generally hew closely to a rigid party-line agenda, or following "leadership," as it's known in Tallahassee. A lot of them become senators, prolonging their legislative careers for another eight or 10 years.

In the House, inexperienced rookie legislators are running for speaker before they know where the bathrooms are in the state Capitol. The obsession with raising money is worse than ever, and House members serve two-year terms, so it seems they are perpetually running for office.

Against this backdrop, House Republicans hope to pad their huge majority this fall. They now hold 76 seats to the Democrats' 44. The GOP wants 80 or more seats, partly to have tighter control over the machinery of lawmaking, and partly as veto-override insurance in the event Democrat Alex Sink is elected governor (it requires a two-thirds vote to override a veto by the governor).

(More here)

[Last modified: Thursday, October 7, 2010 6:29pm]

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