Missouri House panel endorses changes to term limits

Tuesday, March 10, 2009 | 1:55 p.m. CDT; updated 2:58 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, March 10, 2009

JEFFERSON CITY — A Missouri House committee has endorsed a proposed ballot measure allowing lawmakers to serve 16 years in either the House or the Senate.

Currently, lawmakers are limited to about eight years in each chamber, for a total of about 16 years. Voters approved those term limits by a 2-1 margin in 1992.

The newly proposed constitutional amendment would keep that 16-year total but allow lawmakers to spend the whole time in one chamber.

Supporters cite a lack of institutional knowledge in the Legislature. They say a House member can take several years to get up to speed, only to leave the chamber a couple of years later.

Critics say the legislation would go against the wishes of voters.

The House Elections Committee endorsed the proposal 9-1 on Tuesday.


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