Lawmaker considers cutting state legislature in half

    The House Majority Policy Committee will take a look at the feasibility of eliminating the entire state Senate during a hearing in Philadelphia on April 6.

    The House Majority Policy Committee will take a look at the feasibility of eliminating the entire state Senate during a hearing in Philadelphia on April 6.

    Representative Mike Sturla, a Lancaster County Democrat, points out there’s been a lot of recent talk about shrinking the General Assembly.

    But instead of discussing a 10, 20 or 30 percent reduction in the number of seats, Sturla wants to take a look at the possibility of merging the House and Senate into a unicameral body.

    Sturla: “This doesn’t just reduce the cost by a couple percent, it eliminates an entire body – the state Senate. So it cuts the cost of the state legislature in half.”

    Nebraska is the only state with a one-chamber legislature.

    Sturla says that, in addition to saving money, the move would make legislation more efficient.

    He argues that, right now, the House and Senate waste a lot of time passing bills the other chamber simply ignores.

    A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi dismissed the bill.

    Erik Arneson says the House should focus on “crafting a responsible state budget.”

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