MO Statehouse
2:11 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

Term Limits Center Of Public Conference

Term limits have been in effect in Missouri’s General Assembly for 20 years.

Tomorrow a public conference held in St. Louis will explore how the limits have changed Missouri politics for both good and bad.

Representative Chris Kelly, a Democrat from Columbia, served in the state house for 12 years before voters passed the term limits and two terms since then.

Kelly says the General Assembly still attracts smart, hard-working people, but he says they don’t have as much time to learn the ropes.

"The lack of knowledge means a lack of power," Kelly said. "Power is like energy, it doesn’t go away, it goes somewhere else. And where it goes is very much to the bureaucracy and to the lobbyists."

But supporters, including Liberty Initiative Fund president Paul Jacob says it’s a way to bring in new blood.

"I think the reason for term limits is not to get out the bad old politicians. It is to get more people involved in the process," Jacob said.

Both Jacob and Kelly appeared on St. Louis On the Air this week.

The conference is sponsored by the Center for Ethics in Public Life at the University of Missouri St. Louis and is from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. Saturday.

Follow Maria Altman on Twitter: @radioaltman