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Mo. Lt. Gov. speaks out against term limit change

Mo. Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder.
(Official Photo via Office of the Lt. Governor)
Mo. Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder.

Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder says the House should not pass legislation that would allow changes to the state's term limits for lawmakers.

Lawmakers currently are allowed to serve about eight years in the House and eight years in the Senate. A proposed constitutional amendment passed by the Senate last month would allow lawmakers to serve 16 years total, with all that time either spent in one chamber or split among the two.

Voters approved the current term limits in 1992. Kinder said Tuesday that the proposed changes "ought to die" because lawmakers should not overturn the will of voters.

Kinder says term limits have been good for Missouri.

“By bringing in new blood and assuring a regular turnover of folks…I think we’ve gotten a lot of new talent that used to be frozen out when people would be here for 20, 30, 40…I served with the last group that was here for 42 years,” Kinder said.

Sponsoring Sen. Tim Green, a St. Louis Democrat, says the current terms limits have increased the influence that lobbyists and special interest groups have over lawmakers.

The term limits tweak is awaiting action in the House.  If it passes, it would go before Missouri voters next year.

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.