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CPBJ Extra Blog

Please, please don't mess it up this time

By - Last modified: March 4, 2013 at 9:47 AM
Brent Burkey
Brent Burkey

The speaker of the state House of Representatives wants another try at shrinking the size of the legislative body to 153 members. Just the House. Let's just get the House reduced by 50 lawmaker positions.

The state Senate? Please don't bring the Senate into this. That's what messed it up the last time.

Such was the tone I heard in Speaker Sam Smith's co-sponsorship memo out last week seeking support for his proposal for this legislative session.

Smith, R-Jefferson, Armstrong and Indiana counties, actually only wanted his last proposal on the matter to be about reducing the size of the House, leaving any changes in the other chamber of the legislature up to the senators themselves.

But members of the House amended the legislation to also whittle down the number of senators to 38 from 50 before passing it.

Guess what. The Senate didn't pass it. Go figure.

To be honest, I'm actually surprised it passed the House. I'm human, so I'll admit it: I'd have a tough time voting for a roughly 1 in 4 chance of me losing my job.

So I have to agree with Speaker Smith. If there are enough people who think there are darn good reasons for reducing the number of lawmakers that you can get it done in one chamber, go for it.

Don't wait and try to force someone else to do it with you. Lead. That's what people elected you for in the first place.

Brent Burkey covers retail, tourism, and Lebanon and York counties. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at You can also follow him on Twitter, @brentburkey.

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