House (and Senate) cleaning

Oh, please make it so.

With the Legislature returning to session Monday after it's (so-well-earned) nearly three-month summer break, a vote is scheduled Tuesday in the House State Government Committee on reducing the size of the bloated body.

Yes, you read that right. GOP House Speaker Sam Smith has a bill to cut the House down from 203 members to 153 and a second bill to reduce the Senate from 50 to 38.

Think you could live with that?

Or do you still enjoy paying taxes to fund (at $300 million a-year) the nation's largest full-time legislature?

After all, it does so much so well for so many that it currently carries an 11-percent approval rating.

(That rating is according to the latest Franklin & Marshall College poll, which you can read here. Scroll down to page 14.)

But I digress.

Such reduction bills have been around for decades and always are popular with just about everybody who doesn't sit in or work for the Legislature.

The problem -- in addition to getting elected officials to (potentially) vote themselves out of office -- is the process is a long one.

Because the state constitution sets the number of legislative seats, changing that number requires amending the constitution, and that requires passage in two successive two-year legislative sessions and a statewide voter referendum.

Not sayin' it couldn't happen. Just sayin' it's a slog.

But the House State Government Committee chairman is Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler County, a/k/a THE most conservative member of the General Assembly who would be happy to see all government reduced to, basically, himself.

So the effort could be off to a good start. As in what do you call getting rid of 63 Pennsylvania lawmakers?

A good start.

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