JEFFERSON CITY - The most tenured member of the General Assembly said on Thursday he's leaving the Missouri House after his term ends in 2014.
Rep. Chris Kelly, D-Columbia, has served fifteen years in the Missouri House for a total of five terms by the time he retires.
Kelly has been pushing improvements to infastructure across the state in recent years and cites the inability to pass legislation on the issue as one of the key reasons why he's not running for reelection. He was the co-sponsor of House Speaker Tim Jones', R-Eureka, failed infastructure bond measure.
"The legislature spends way too much time on frivilous political non-sense," Kelly said. "The infastructure of Missouri continues to deteriorate."
Kelly was also unhappy with the legislature's decision to focus time on what he called "patently unconstitutional" bills like the failed gun bill and the attempt to outlaw Sharia Law.
The Columbia representative encouraged his officemate Rep. Stephen Webber, D-Columbia, to run for the senate seat currently held by Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia. Schaefer is term limited in 2016 and announced he'll be running for Attorney General in 2016.
Schaefer said he understood Kelly's frustration with the inability to pass an infastructure bond measure and said it was an honor working with him.
"We were able to accomplish a lot of things," Schaefer said. "really, I think an unprecedented amount of things for the state of Missouri, Boone County and the university."