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In this Email Update:
History made: Legislature approves Knowles bill to reduce size of House of Representatives
The Senate approved a measure on Wednesday that would reduce the size of the House of Representatives.
Rep. Jerry Knowles’ bill, House Bill 153, is a Constitutional amendment to reduce the size of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 203 to 153 members.
This has been a long-debated issue in the state legislature. The proposed change requires an amendment to the state Constitution, which means the same bill must be debated and passed by both the House and Senate in two consecutive sessions. The exact same measure must be approved by the legislature in the 2017-18 legislative session.
The issue would then be placed on the ballot for the voters of Pennsylvania to have the final say. The issue does not require the governor’s approval.
Congratulations to Representative Jerry Knowles for shepherding this important reform through the legislative process!
Special Committee on Senate Address issues recommendations
The Special Committee on Senate Address issued its recommendations Wednesday to the full Senate on whether the chamber should proceed to vote on the removal of Attorney General Kathleen Kane due to the suspension of her law license.
The Committee recommended:
The Special Committee on Senate Address was charged with determining whether Kathleen Kane can fulfill the legal duties of the office with an indefinitely suspended law license. A complete history of the Committee’s work, including all votes, reports, testimony and hearing videos may be found at www.senateaddress.pasen.gov.
Bills eliminating obsolete measures sent to governor
Two bills to remove outdated provisions from state law received final legislative approval this week and were sent to the governor for his signature and enactment.
Senate Bill 494 repeals a requirement that the General Assembly be furnished with a printed copy of an annual report required under the Flood Insurance Education and Information Act of 1996. The written report is not needed since that information and other flood-related insurance data are available online at the Department of Insurance website.
House Bill 1201 repeals Act 131 of 1943, which authorized the Department of Highways or municipalities to adopt and take over public roads and highways constructed by the federal government in the exercise of war power. That law is archaic because the federal government no longer builds World War II roads.