Legislation that would amend Pennsylvania’s Constitution and shrink the size of the General Assembly cleared a committee vote in the state House Tuesday morning.
By a 14-10 vote, the House State Government Committee agreed to consider HB 153, which would amend the state Constitution and reduce the number of seats in the House of Representatives from 203 to 151.
An identical bill was approved last year by both the House and Senate. Bill sponsor Rep. Jerry Knowles, R-Berks/Carbon/Schuylkill, stressed to committee members that the exact bill would need to pass through each chamber again this session to then be considered by voters.
“The most important element of this piece of legislation is your bosses ... are the ones who will be making the final decision,” he told members.
The measure — which was first approved by legislators in the 2016-17 legislative session — now heads to the full House.
Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-12th, who is the committee chairman and voted for the measure, said following the session that he expects similar bipartisan support for the bill this year. He said opposition could come from those whose seat may no longer exist in four years.
Metcalfe said his support for the legislation comes from a desire to see the size of the executive and judicial branches of government reduced as a way to save taxpayers, “billions of dollars.”
“I believe this legislation ... is a way for those of us that are legislators to lead by example,” he said.