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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: December 14, 2016 10:59 AM
From: Representative Jerry Knowles
To: All House members
Subject: Reducing the Size of the House of Representatives
Let me start by thanking you for your support in passing HB 153 by a vote of 139-56 last session. While we have started the process of reducing the size of the House of Representatives, we are only half way there. Article XI, Section 1 of the Pennsylvania Constitution requires that identical language be passed in two consecutive sessions of the General Assembly before it can be voted by Pennsylvania electors Legislation to amend the Constitution must be passed in identical. Therefore, it is necessary to introduce (and pass) identical legislation this session.

Proposals reducing the size of the Pennsylvania legislature are not rare. Most of these legislative downsizing proposals argued that the legislature is either too big to be efficient or costs too much to maintain. The Pennsylvania legislature is the second largest legislature in the country.

With that in mind, I will be introducing legislation identical to what passed last session (HB 153) to reduce the size of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 203 members to 151 members. This legislation passed both the House and Senate last session and became Pamphlet Laws Resolution 1. Once this legislation passes both Chambers it will go to the voters for a vote. I believe that it is best for the House of Representatives to determine the size of their body and allow the Senate to make a similar determination in regard to the size of its body.

Please join me in sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as HB153