Institutional Effects of Term Limits In Missouri1
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Missouri adopted term limits in 1992 but the limits did not take full effect until 2003 in the House and will take full effect in the Senate in 2005. Missouri's limit is a lifetime limit of eight years in each chamber, for a total of sixteen years. Initially the limit applied to partial terms for those elected in a special election but the amendment was revised in 2002 to exclude from the circulation service of less then one-half a term (i.e. one year in the House or two years in the Senate). The amendment can be found in article III, section 8 of the Missouri Constitution. In January 2003, no member of the House had served more than six consecutive years and in January 2005, no member of the Senate will have served more than six consecutive years. Those who have written about term limits do not agree about the probable effects and researchers have found that the effects of term limits vary significantly from state to state (see attached bibliography). This report draws on legislative data compiled by the Missouri Secretary of State, a legislative survey, and interviews to examine the impact of term limits on legislative leaders, new member learning and specialization, the role of legislative staff, and evolving lobbying strategies.
Valentine, D., Stokes, S., and Richardson, L.E., Jr. (2004). The Impact of Term Limits in Missouri, Report No.52- 2004. Retrieved 10-01-09, from University of Missouri - Columbia, Institute of Public Policy Web site: http://www.truman.missouri.edu/ipp/publications/briefs.html