State lawmakers have been attempting to modify term limits since they were enacted, but a state representative believes he might have settled on a plan acceptable to Missourians.
Rep. Gayle Kingery (R-Poplar Bluff) has taken a stab at changing the terms of term limits.
"We have tried to modify this (legislative term limits) over the last three years and we find that our constituents do not like us messing with the numbers," Kingery has told a House committee.
Those numbers are a maximum of four terms or eight years in the House and two terms or eight years in the Senate. Kingery says his proposal, HJR 54 , would retain the maximum of 16 years in the General Assembly, but would allow lawmakers to spend those years either all in one chamber or in combination between the House and Senate.
Kingery acknowledges his proposal would benefit state representatives most. He points out that statistically few representatives ever make the jump to the Senate.
Kingery argues that the learning curve in the legislature is six years and term limits don’t allow lawmakers to become truly effective. He says term limits have given too much power to the staff, the lobbyists and the executive branch. Kingery says lawmakers with experience would better serve the public.