PA Lawmakers Consider Downsizing Legislature

PA Lawmakers Consider Downsizing Legislature

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Pennsylvania's House of Representatives is debating a pair of bills to reduce the size of the Legislature.

Members of the Democratic minority led the opposition Tuesday, arguing that reducing the number of seats would increase the size of legislative districts and make it more difficult for constituents to engage their elected representatives.

The bills, sponsored by Republican House Speaker Sam Smith, would reduce the House membership from 203 to 153 and shrink the Senate from 50 to 38 seats.

Smith defends his proposals as an effort to streamline the legislative process and enhance the prospects of reaching compromises on politically complex legislation.

Even if both bills are approved, they would require another round of legislative approval before they could be sent out to Pennsylvania voters in a referendum.