Pa. General Assembly Cutting 62 Seats

Friday, 06 Apr 2012 08:16 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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The Pennsylvania House of Representatives agreed to shrink the state’s General Assembly by 62 seats, a step that could amend the state’s constitution and comply with past attempts to reduce the number of state lawmakers.
Most of the chamber’s Republican lawmakers, who control of the House, voted for the measure, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but Democrats were divided. The bill aims to drop the number of House members to 153 from 203, and senators from 50 to 38.
Rural lawmakers said they oppose the change because they are worried about increasing district sizes to accommodate for more residents. Republican House Speaker Sam Smith, who proposed the bill, argued the reduction means lawmakers will be better able to communicate and represent voters in Harrisburg.
The bill is now headed to the state Senate, where Republican Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi supports reducing the General Assembly as well. To reduce the legislative ranks, a bill must pass in two consecutive sessions and then voters must approve.

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