Friday, April 22, 2011

Missouri Senate passes bill to reduce size of House

JEFFERSON CITY, MO (MISSOURI DIGITAL NEWS) - The Missouri Senate passed a bill that would eliminate 60 state Representatives after the next census. The bill would cut the number of Representatives from 163 to 103.

According to bill sponsor and St. Louis County Republican Senator Jim Lembke, Missouri has the fourth-largest House in the country.

Lembke says downsizing will save money and provide a more efficient government.

"This is about having a manageable statehouse and across state government, making changes that would save taxpayers money. This would save taxpayers about five million dollars a year," Lembke says.

Opponents of the bill say cutting Representatives would cause leaders to be less in touch with their constituents.

Republican Clay Senator LuAnn Ridgeway says this reduction would harm the relationship between Representatives and their constituents.

"In this time of term limits, we need to keep our representatives as close to the people as possible. By diluting the number of representatives, and increasing the number of people they would representative, it is of necessity that it would be harder to stay in touch with the people," Ridgeway said.

If the Houses were to pass the bill, the decrease in House size would not take place until after current members are term-limited out of office.

The idea of cutting the size of the House has been around for years, but typically stalls in the House.

Meghann Mollerus, Missouri Digital News


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