This week, the Pennsylvania House State Government Committee held a hearing on bills to reduce the size of the General Assembly (i.e., the number of legislators). While CF did not testify on this particular hearing, we have written on this and related issues in the past.
Earlier this year, I spoke to a Pennsylvania Bar Association Commission on structural reforms to the legislature; that presentation is below.
Our conclusion is that, absent other reforms, simply reducing the number of legislators may not generate cost savings or improve transparency and accountability in government. Nor is there any link between legislative size and policy outcomes: taxes, spending or economic freedom.
However, other substantive reforms, including term limits and the “professionalization” (full-time vs. part-time, salary and benefits, and number of staff) do correlate with policy outcomes.