HELENA – The Montana Senate has endorsed a proposed constitutional amendment that would cut off lawmakers for good after 16 years in office.

The amended version of House Bill 277 would tighten term-limit provisions to prevent a state legislator from switching from the House to the Senate and back again every eight years.

The original House bill would have allowed a legislator who already has served 16 years to run again after sitting out another eight years.

A Senate committee changed that provision to limit the total time in office to 16 years. The bill with the change passed its initial vote Friday 37-13.

The House must agree with the Senate’s changes and receive at least 100 votes from both chambers before it appears on the ballot in 2014.

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