PA House Considers Reducing Representatives from 203 to 153 Members

HARRISBURG – The PA House State Government Committee met this morning to consider PA State Representative Sam Smith’s bill to reduce the size of the PA House from 203 members to 153 members.

House Bill 153 passed in Committee by a vote of 18 – 6.

Speaker Sam Smith said, “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.”

Rep. Sam Smith

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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