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PA House Speaker Renews Effort To Reduce Size Of Chamber

(Credit: Representative Sam Smith's office)

(Credit: Representative Sam Smith’s office)

(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 (CBS) — The speaker of the Pennsylvania House is once again pushing his proposal to shrink the size of the chamber over which he presides.

In the name of making the 203-member House more efficient, Speaker Sam Smith wants to reduce the chamber by about a fourth, to 153 members. A bill to do that got through the House in the last two-year session, but not before being amended to also reduce the size of the Senate, perhaps one reason it didn’t get through the Senate. Smith’s spokesman Steve Miskin says his boss will be more aggressive this time about trying to send the Senate a House-only bill.

“The Senate operates, you know, themselves and they know how they operate,” Miskin says. “If they believe that their numbers should be reduced, then they would take that up. Right now we’re aiming and looking specifically at the House.”

The change would require an amendment to the state constitution, so even if it passes the House and Senate in this session, it would have to pass both chambers again in the 2015-16 session before being approved by voters.

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