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Part I. The Many Designs of American State Legislature: 1. Introduction 2. Narratives of change in six states Part II. How Design Affects a Legislature's Form: 3. The stability of leadership: how long do 'First Among Equals' last? 4. The role of committees: independent actors or agents? 5. Patterns in legislative achievement Part III. How Design Affects a Legislature's Function: 6. Bargaining between the legislative and executive branches 7. The production of policy innovation 8. Conclusions 9. Epilogue: adaptations to term limits.