A new bill recently approved by Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives could potentially reduce the number of reps in the state legislature, writes Katie Meyer for WHYY.
Currently, Pennsylvania has the largest full-time legislature with 203 members in the House and 50 in the Senate.
The effort to downsize the number of the House by 52 members is being led by Rep. Jerry Knowles. It also includes an amendment to cut the Senate by 12 members, but it’s uncertain if this will remain part of the proposal.
Knowles lists several reasons behind the initiative, including that the bill would save the state around $15 million every year.
“Some people would say that’s not a lot of money when you look at a $32 billion budget, but my response to that is, that’s a lot of money where I come from,” said Knowles.
He also believes that a smaller General Assembly would create better discussion and debate.
Opponents, however, want to ensure it’s done by an independent citizens’ commission.
“This kind of reduction in the size, without saying how it’s going to be done or leaving it to a different way — it’s more gerrymandering,” said Rep. Mary Jo Daley.
Read more about the bill at WHYY by clicking here.