Missouri Lawmakers Consider Extending Term Limits

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JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Lt.Gov. Peter Kinder came out strong Tuesday against legislation hoping to extend term limits for state lawmakers. He said the proposed constitutional amendment "ought to die" because it overturns the will of the voters.

The Missouri House is taking up a bill that would change the term limits so legislators could spend up to 16 years in either chamber as opposed to 8 years.

Supporters of the legislation say a little bit more time in office gives state senators and state representatives more time to get used to the ways of government. They also say the longer they're in office the less influenced they are by lobbyists and special interest groups.

Opponents say the senate bill would limit the voices of younger members in each chamber and limit the amount of ideas flowing in and out of state government.

Columbia resident Victoria Weaver agrees. She thinks in order for the political system to work correctly people need to elect new members more frequently and not keep them around for longer periods of time.

"I think it's a way to stop democracy and stifle people's voices. Whenever you have leaders in office who don't have your best interest at heart and you can't get them out before they pass too much bad legislation, it's not good for the country," said Weaver.

If the Missouri House passes this legislation in final three days of the legislative session, citizens will vote on the proposal in 2012.

Voters last voted on term limits in 1992.