Friday, May 27, 2011

Another Lawmaker Tries to Shrink PA Legislature

A long line of Pennsylvania lawmakers have tried and failed to reduce the size of the state legislature but Senator Judy Schwank says she likes her chances.

“The legislature has to be unleashed from the old way of thinking, which costs taxpayers millions of dollars more each year than is either appropriate or necessary,” said Schwank.

Schwank says things are different than when the lawmaker to citizen ratios where created, “We have modern technology, people can contact their legislators via the web, or phone, there are so many ways that we can reach out to our constituents.”

Senator Schwank’s bill would cut 82 members from the House of Representatives, shrinking it to 121 members from the current 203. The Senate would lose 10 members, going to a 40-member body.

The legislation has 13 co-sponsors including signatures from both sides of the aisle. “I think that this gives great possibility to the fact that this may actually go somewhere… and reflect what constituents have been saying to all of us.”

The bill has been referred to the Senate State Government Committee for consideration. It would have to be passed by both chambers in two consecutive legislative sessions, signed by the Governor and approved by the voters. Similar legislation in the past has failed to move out of committee or has not been considered by both chambers.

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