HARRISBURG – By a vote of 109-80, the state House approved an amended version of Rep. Jerry Knowles’ (R-Berks/Carbon/Schuylkill) House Bill 153
“This is the people’s House and the people should decide the size of it,” Knowles said. “With this vote, we are leading by example when it comes to streamlining and improving efficiencies within our state government. I am glad that the majority of my colleagues voted in favor of allowing the people’s voice to be heard.”
Knowles’ bill originally sought to solely allow the people of Pennsylvania to decide whether or not the state House should be downsized from 203 to 151 members. It was amended in the House to extend that decision to the size of the state Senate. As amended, the people could also decide if the Senate should be reduced from 50 members to 38.
Since the bill was amended last month, it still must be considered in two consecutive sessions of the General Assembly before going to the voters. However, if the Senate amends the bill back to Knowles’ original form and the House agrees to it, the referendum could conceivably be on the ballot this fall.
Pennsylvania is the largest full-time Legislature in the nation. Pennsylvania’s population is approximately 12.8 million, and currently each state representative represents about 62,000 people. If the House is reduced to 151 members, each representative would serve a constituency of approximately 84,000.
For more information about this House Bill 153, or any other legislative topic, contact Knowles’ district office in Tamaqua at 570-668-1240, or in Hamburg at 610-562-3411. Information can also be found online at RepKnowles.com
Representative Jerry Knowles
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Krisinda Corbin