Not only could the state House see a 50-member reduction, its representatives along with state senators could soon be limited in the money they may earn outside of their elected office.
Allegheny County Democratic Rep. Tony DeLuca has introduced a bill that would limit outside income for members of the General Assembly to 35 percent of their legislative salary. For rank-and-file members, the base salary is $83,802 this year.
Automatic cost-of-living adjustments for the General Assembly are tied to the Mid-Atlantic Consumer Price Index. Base pay for state lawmakers went up 2.2 percent.
“I’m a strong supporter of Speaker Smith’s efforts to shrink the size of the legislature,” DeLuca said in a statement, referring to a proposal that would take the House to 203 seats from 253. “However, a smaller legislature will require a more full-time commitment from members. Distractions from outside employment may impede upon their ability to serve their constituents.”
House Bill 368 is in the State Government Committee. The measure would bring the Pennsylvania General Assembly in line with federal limitations on outside income and honoraria for members of U.S. Congress, DeLuca said.
“We need to make sure we are acting in the best interest of our constituents, not special interest groups or private businesses,” he said.
The House returns to voting session March 11.