Brown Says Legislative Reduction Will Lead to Greater Efficiency
HARRISBURG – In an effort to improve state government efficiency and save taxpayer money, Rep. Rosemary M. Brown (R-Monroe/Pike) today voted in favor of legislation that begins the process to reduce the size of the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

House Bill 153 seeks to reduce the number of members of the House of Representatives from 203 to 153 – a 25 percent reduction – and the Senate from 50 to 38 members.

“In order to make sure that taxpayer money is used in the most efficient and effective manner, we need to be constantly looking at all of our expenses and activities and seeking out improvements wherever we can,” Brown said. “More than 200 state House members represent a sizable complement, and because of that, we take pride in being accessible to the people we serve; however, if we can find a way to trim the size of our chamber while still being effective, then we should make every effort to do so.”

Proponents of House Bill 153 believe that a smaller House and Senate would help streamline the legislative process and make it easier for individual lawmakers to influence policy.

Brown pointed out that Ohio is similar to Pennsylvania in terms of its rural, suburban and urban diversity. Ohio’s House of Representatives consists of 99 members each serving nearly 115,000 people, and she said that state should serve as an example of the type of efficiency that can be achieved in Pennsylvania.

She also noted that with advances in modern technology and communication, it is much easier to engage in real-time discussions and debate with constituents and allows a single legislator to serve more people.

In addition to supporting this legislative reform, Brown seeks to lead by example by submitting receipts for expenses, rather than the per diem allowance, and she has refused to take a state-paid vehicle, cell phone and lunches.

House Bill 153 now goes to the state Senate for consideration. An identical bill must also pass both chambers during the 2013-14 session and receive the endorsement of Pennsylvania’s voters through a ballot referendum.

State Representative Rosemary M. Brown
189th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Jennifer Keaton