Pennsylvania voters could decide as soon as May 2013 on whether to shrink the size of the state legislature.
The House of Representatives has overwhelmingly passed a bill that would cut the number of House seats from 203 to 153 and Senate seats from 50 to 38.
The vote was 140-49.
Local lawmakers who voted in favor of the legislation were Reps. Larry Curry (D-154th dist.), Brendan Boyle (D-170th dist.), Kevin Boyle (D-172nd dist.), John Sabatina Jr. (D-174th dist.) and John Taylor (R-177th dist.).
Area legislators who voted against the measure were Reps. Tony Payton (D-179th dist.), Mark Cohen (D-202nd dist.) and Dwight Evans (D-203rd dist.).
Reps. Tom Murt and Mike McGeehan did not vote.
The Senate will consider the bill, which would amend the state Constitution.
To become law, the bill must be passed in two consecutive sessions and then approved by voters. The next session begins in January 2013.
If and when the legislature passes the bill in the next session, new Senate and House boundary lines will probably be in place. Thus, even if voters approve the question, the changes won’t take place until 2022, following reapportionment after the 2020 census.
Pennsylvania has the second-biggest legislature in the country, behind New Hampshire’s part-time body. ••EndFragment