Recently, the State Government Committee voted in favor of House Bill 153
, a bill I am sponsoring to potentially amend the state Constitution and reduce the size of the House.
Since this is a big deal, and a bill that needs to pass identically through the General Assembly in back-to-back sessions, I want to provide you with a few reasons why this legislation is indeed good for Pennsylvania.
The No. 1 reason is that it allows our bosses, the people of Pennsylvania, to ultimately decide if they would like to reduce the number of seats in the state House from 203 to 151
. This is the most important reason why I wholeheartedly support this bill: The people get to choose.
Personally, I believe in smaller government, cutting costs and streamlining services, so I would support this bill on those merits alone. As a legislator who is serving his fifth term, I see how our government operates. And I believe a smaller House would lead to better discussion, clearer debate and more opportunity for each member to make his or her point. Too often that is lacking with such large and entrenched numbers.
House Bill 153 passed during the previous legislative session with a large majority. This is the same exact bill this time around; it has to be in order for this process to work properly. Now that it has passed through committee, I look forward to having the opportunity to vote on it again on the House floor soon.
Best-case scenario: Voters would be able to vote on this question in November’s general election.
Representative Jerry Knowles
Pennsylvania House of Representatives