HARRISBURG – On Tuesday, the Pennsylvania House State Government Committee voted in favor of Rep. Jerry Knowles’ (R-Carbon/Berks/Schuylkill) legislation to reduce the size of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
Knowles is sponsoring House Bill 153
, which would amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to reduce the number of seats in the Pennsylvania House from 203 to 153.
“The state is responsible for providing core government services, and I believe the people’s work should be done as efficiently, and as cost effectively, as possible,” Knowles said. “I believe the House should determine the size of its body, and then Pennsylvanians should decide if their state government is too large or too costly. That’s just what this plan would do.”
Knowles legislation is similar to former Speaker of the House Sam Smith’s legislation from the previous session, which passed in 2013 by a vote of 148-50. Additionally, the House State Government Committee voted in favor of Rep. Daryl Metcalfe’s (R-Butler) amendment to Knowles’ bill which further reduced the number of House seats to 151.
“The Pennsylvania House of Representatives is the second largest legislature in the country, and there is no magic in the number 203,” Knowles explained. “In fact, the final number of seats in the House came from a map drawing mistake after the 1968 Constitutional Convention.”
Knowles’ bill must be passed during two consecutive legislative sessions and then placed on the ballot as a referendum question for voters.
“State government needs to lead by example,” Knowles said. “This bill is about making state government more efficient and streamlining several processes. With the advanced technology that exists in today’s society, we have many more opportunities to assist constituents. This plan is fair, and would reduce the size of the legislature proportionately – but most importantly, the people would ultimately get the final say in which direction we would take.”
For more information about House Bill 153, or any other legislative topic, please contact Knowles’ district office in Tamaqua at 570-668-1240, or in Hamburg at 610-562-3411.
Representative Jerry Knowles
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Krisinda Corbin