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Term limits for statewide offices will be on November ballot in Missouri

With the presidential election front and center, other issues on the November ballot may be overlooked. Missouri voters will decide whether to enact a term limits for lieutenant governor, secretary of state, auditor and attorney general.

Amendment 1 would change the state Constitution to extend the two-term restriction that currently applies to the governor and treasurer to other statewide elected officials, the “Jefferson City News-Tribune” reported. The amendment also would limit those offices to election for one full term if the officeholder had served more than two years of a term to which some other person was originally elected.

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The amendment is on the ballot because the Missouri General Assembly in 2019 passed Senate Joint Resolution 14, sponsored by state Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer, R-Parkville.

Luetkemeyer has pointed out Missourians support term limits. He also said the measure would help prevent all state officials from becoming career politicians.

“This brings consistency to our term limits,” he said. “Under these changes, all statewide elected officials will now be subject to the same eight-year term limits that apply to the governor, treasurer and legislature.”

State Sen. Ed Emery, R-Lamar, who opposes the amendment, said while he supports term limits on the federal level, he’s not such big fan of them on the state level.

“The jobs that are being added (in the amendment) are more technical jobs and administrative,” he said. “Competency is a more important issue. The other jobs are a little bit more aligned with getting to know the work. Understanding what you’re doing. Building a good strong staff. It’s difficult on employees, too.”

Offices statewide have large, professional staff that remain from administration to administration, Luetkemeyer said. “Given this, there is little risk of losing institutional knowledge,” he said.

The amendment requires a simple majority of votes to pass.

–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice