On August 12, Steve Tilley was speaker of the Missouri House and one of the most influential political figures in the state. On August 13, he left the legislature entirely, having resigned his seat with five months left in his term. Within weeks, Tilley, a Republican, had registered as a lobbyist.
In making this switch, Tilley had company. His Democrat counterpart, Minority Leader Mike Talboy, had made the transition from legislator to lobbyist in the spring.
The career path of Tilley and Talboy is unusual. Most Missouri legislators, of course, aren't suddenly becoming lobbyists. Most aren't leaving the legislature early. But, whether they want to or not, many are leaving for a number of reasons.