There was a time when we thought term limits were a good idea for the Missouri General Assembly. Not anymore! Term limits have proven to be wrong for the people of Missouri.

Instead of getting better state government from term limits, we have gotten just the opposite. Terming out lawmakers has resulted in amateurs running the state government. Unfortunately, we also have an amateur in the governor’s mansion.

Readers, please turn to the third editorial page and read a commentary by Phill Brooks, dean of the statehouse press corps, who also teaches at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Brooks probably knows how the General Assembly operates better than anyone else in the Missouri capital today. He’s been around a long time and is respected for his reporting — accurate, fair and knowledgeable.

There was a time when lawmakers in Jefferson City knew each other well, respected the other members’ point of view, and had the ability to recognize good and bad bills before them. They got along in the spirit of doing what’s right for the majority of Missourians. When they were wrong, or did something that was an embarrassment to the body in which they served, they apologized to the House or Senate, wherever they had a desk. They treated each other like grown men and women should in government. With the experience they gained with longevity in the House and Senate, they passed bipartisan legislation that was in and for the best interests of Missourians.

Members also got to know each other, and found they had much in common.

With term limits, and new faces coming and going in the Legislature, members lack experience, and their lack of action on legislation, or passage of ill-advised legislation, is apparent. 

We have too many “political climbers” who use the House and Senate as stepping stones to advance their personal ambitions. Yes, a degree of that had been the rule in the past also. 

Term limits should be abolished. Let the voters cast out the weaklings. Let’s go back to having experienced lawmakers.