Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Speaker’s Bill to Shrink the Size of Legislature Passes Out of Committee, Heads to Floor for Consideration State House Government Committee gives go-ahead to House Bill 153

HARRISBURG – A bill to reduce the size of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to 153 members, from the current 203 members, heads to the House floor, Speaker of the House Sam Smith (R-Jefferson/Armstrong/Indiana) said today after the bill passed out of committee.
The bill, House Bill 153, authored by Speaker Smith, passed the House State Government Committee by a vote of 18-6.

“There is nothing magical about the number 203, in fact, it came about by accident, yet reports and studies have indicated that groups more than 150 tend to be less efficient,” Smith said. “Reaching a consensus with 203 people on major and controversial issues has proven more difficult in recent times.”

With 203 members, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives is the second largest in the country.

“In order to right-size Pennsylvania’s government, the Legislature needs to put its own house in order,” Smith said. “Today’s committee vote positions the bill for consideration by the full House in the next several weeks.”

To change the size of the Legislature requires an amendment to the state Constitution, which means the same bill must be debated and passed in two consecutive sessions, and subsequently approved by referendum vote of the people of Pennsylvania.

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