Pa. House Begins Debating Bill To Reduce Size Of Legislature

(The Pennsylvania capitol, in Harrisburg.  File photo)

(The Pennsylvania capitol, in Harrisburg. File photo)

(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – The state House has begun debating a proposal that would reduce the size of the Pennsylvania legislature.

The proposal to reduce the size of the state House by about a fourth comes from the speaker himself, Republican Sam Smith. He says the idea is to make the House more efficient and is not partisan.

“Something I saw not as a Republican, and not as a Democrat. It’s not an issue that cuts at all on that vein, in my view.”

But, Democrats like Babette Josephs of Philadelphia argued that the proposal is flying under the radar.

“They are going to be very surprised, our voters, when they find out that the district they used to think they were in no longer exists.”

An amendment proposed by Josephs to reduce the size of the House in stages, rather than all at once, was defeated, but an amendment to also reduce the size of the Senate was approved. Debate will continue.

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