TribLIVE

| Opinion/The Review


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

True Legislature reform

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Letters home ...

Traveling abroad for personal, educational or professional reasons?

Why not share your impressions — and those of residents of foreign countries about the United States — with Trib readers in 150 words?

The world's a big place. Bring it home with Letters Home.

Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or cmcnickle@tribweb.com).

Daily Photo Galleries

Monday, Oct. 7, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

What's needed is a representative, independent commission to “reinvent” Pennsylvania's Legislature.

Not only is the General Assembly expensive, it is filled with careerists and is among the most fiscally unfree. Further, its staff is outrageously large and costly.

A Goldwater Institute study ranked states' legislatures by two factors: In “legislative careerism,” Pennsylvania came in sixth, after both New York and California; in “most for fiscal freedom,” Pennsylvania came in 32nd, ahead of New York and California.

A National Conference of State Legislatures review put Pennsylvania among states with the costliest legislatures, along with New York and California; Texas was halfway between states with traditional (cheap) legislatures and us “rich” Pennsylvanians.

Proposals now being seriously considered in Harrisburg would cut the number of state representatives from 203 to 153. Fewer reps sounds wonderful; it would save $8 million, proponents say.

These simple answers will actually add to the costs. After a few years, our legislators will plead: “We fewer state representatives must work harder to represent more people, so our travel, telephone, office costs must rise — perhaps not 25 percent, but something — or we'll not be able to do our job.” And every governor has gone along with cost/pay raises.

What we need now is an objective, independent commission to study this whole intricate mess and recommend real answers.

Peter K. Sour

Sewickley Heights

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Letters

  1. Columnists under fire I
  2. Obvious or not?
  3. Columnists under fire II
  4. Thievery in ‘nice’ neighborhood
  5. ‘Hairspray’ uplifting
  6. Time for medical cannabis
  7. Convert to gas-fired
  8. Fishing lessons: Like father, like son
  9. Prosecution run amok
  10. Libraries are vital
  11. Key qualities lost