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Pennsylvania Senate OKs bill to reduce House, but not itself

The Associated Press

HARRISBURG — A move to trim dozens of seats from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives has the state Senate’s preliminary approval.

In this AP file photo, members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives debate the budget, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015, at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The Republican-controlled Senate voted 43-6 to reduce the House’s ranks from 203 to 151. The House passed the resolution to change the Constitution last May to reduce its seats. However, the Senate hasn’t taken up a companion bill that also passed the House to cut the 50-seat Senate to 37.

To change the Constitution, both chambers must approve the measure in the next two-year legislative session, which begins in 2017, and after that it would go on the ballot to a statewide referendum.

With 253 seats, the Pennsylvania General Assembly is second in size to New Hampshire’s, and is the nation’s largest full-time Legislature.