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JEFFERSON CITY - In a letter sent to his colleagues Monday announcing his resignation, Speaker of the House Steven Tilley said he would be professionally consulting on campaigns and public policy.

"I choose to leave early because I did not want to be a paid consultant while serving as the Speaker of the House," Tilley said in the letter.

But in a separate news release to the public, Tilley also stated he wanted to spend more time with his family.

"Over the past eight years I sometimes put the interest of the caucus and the House ahead of my family. My decision to resign early is one I made with my daughters and that puts my family first."

Tilley was first elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in 2004. He has served almost the full eight years allowed under the Missouri Constitution. Tilley's term would have expired in January of 2013.

Representative Sue Allen, R-St. Louis County, said she applauded Tilley for his service to his constitutents.

"Over the past four years I've come to know Speaker Tilley as someone who built consensus. In doing so, he effectively advanced the conservative cause in a way that was inclusive, not divisive," Allen said. "I wish him the best in his future endeavors."

Representative Chris Kelly, D-Columbia, said Tilley's resignation will not have any significant impact on the rest of the legislative session.

"Most of the legislative business is already over," Kelly said. "We'll just meet in September for a day or two for a veto session."

Speaker Pro Tem Shane Schoeller will replace Tilley as speaker for the rest of the current legislative term.