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Reducing the Size of the Legislature
By Rep. Steve Mentzer (R-Lititz)
Jan. 23, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives took another step to reducing the size of the legislature. The House State Government Committee passed House Bill 153 along party lines, 14 Republican “yes” votes and 11 Democratic “no” votes.

On February 5 this bill, which allows the voters of Pennsylvania the ability to vote on reducing the size of the House of Representatives from 203 to 151 members, was debated on the House Floor.

House Bill 153 would need to pass in exactly the same form as last session. If it does not, the changed legislation will need to go back to square one, which means another four years until it could be placed on the ballot.

As you might have guessed, those opposed to this bill are aggressively trying to change the bill by proposing over 30 different amendments. These amendments as standalone legislation may seem logical on the surface, but remember, if we make one change now, we will need to start the two-session process all over again.

During debate on House Bill 153, an amendment that would add the reduction in the Senate from 50 to 38 passed the House of Representatives. We did not have enough time to vote on moving the now-amended House Bill 153 to the Senate, so we will need to take this up again when we reconvene.

Once this bill passes the House and moves to the Senate, we will be better able to determine its fate.
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