Did You Know: Term Limits
Term limits: a statutory restriction on the number of terms an official or officeholder may serve.
On Nov. 3, 1992, Missouri voters approved, by a margin of 75 percent, an amendment to the state’s constitution (Article III, Section 8) limiting the years a legislator may serve in the General Assembly. Prior to this provision, Missouri had no legislative term limits.
As originally adopted, the amendment limited the service of individuals elected to the General Assembly to a maximum of eight years in the Missouri House of Representatives and eight years in the Missouri Senate. The amendment also excluded from term-limit calculations any legislative service initiated from elections held prior to the original term limits effective date of December 3, 1992.
In 2002, voters amended the term limit provision (Article III, Section 8) to allow those filling seats vacated after a term’s midpoint the opportunity to subsequently run for up to four complete two-year House terms and/or up to two complete four-year Senate terms. Prior to this provision, any partial service counted as a full term, effectively becoming the first of four possible two-year House terms and/or the first of two possible four-year Senate terms.
Lawmakers completing unexpired terms at the time of the partial service provision’s 2002 passage would still have to count their partial service as full terms in term-limit calculations.
|First Elected*||Party||Ineligible for Re-Election||Notes|
* Entries with a month denote a special election
2. Senator Mike Cierpiot won a November 2017 special election to complete a vacated term of fewer than two years. He was able to run for a full term in 2018 and was successful.
3. Senator Lauren Arthur won a June 2018 special election to complete a vacated term of more than two years. She was able to run for a full term in 2020 and was successful.
1. Senator Sandy Crawford won a August 2017 special election to complete a vacated term of fewer than two years. She was able to run for a full term in 2018 and was successful.
Article III – Legislative Department
Section 8 – Term limitations for members of the General Assembly
Term limits language as originally adopted November 3, 1992
No one shall be elected or appointed to serve more than eight years total in any one house of the General Assembly nor more than sixteen years total in both houses of the General Assembly. In applying this section, service in the General Assembly resulting from an election or appointment prior to the effective date of this section shall not be counted.
Current term limits language as amended November 5, 2002, to include the partial service provision
No one shall be elected to serve more than eight years total in any one house of the General Assembly nor more than sixteen years total in both houses of the General Assembly. In applying this section, service in the General Assembly resulting from an election prior to December 3, 1992, or service of less than one year, in the case of a member of the house of representatives, or two years, in the case of a member of the senate, by a person elected after the effective date of this section to complete the term of another person, shall not be counted.