Last year the Pennsylvania General Assembly approved legislation that would cut the member of State House members from 203 to 151, a decrease of 52 representatives. If that legislation is approved by the General Assembly again this year, it could appear on the ballot in the November election as a constitutional amendment for approval by the voters. Is this change a good idea? NO! Why not?
First, cutting 52 State House members would only save $4.5 million in a $32 billion budget, an insignificant amount. Second, it would increase the number of constituents served by the remaining 151 representatives by 20,000 people, a one-third increase.
This increase would transfer influence and power from rural lawmakers to urban and suburban legislators who already wield too much authority. Philadelphia and Pittsburgh representatives would be jumping for joy if this legislation and constitutional change are approved by the General Assembly and the voters this year.
A better solution would be to cut the representatives pay from $87,180 a year to $64,848 annually and keep the same number of State House members while saving the same amount of money without increasing the number of constituents served by each representative.
Pennsylvania citizens don’t need fewer State House members; they need more fiscally responsible representatives that serve their constituents, not the political party or their lobbyists.
David L. Faust