Reform the Legislature

Shrink the Membership

We have the largest full-time state legislature in the country, and we have no better results than many other states with smaller legislatures.

If we cut our State House from 203 members to 103 and our State Senate from 50 members to 25, we would save over $11 million per year on legislator wages alone, not including the added savings from healthcare, pension, and per diem pay.

Good Government

There are a few measures that could make Harrisburg more accountable.

  • Term limits of six years in the House eight years in the Senate
  • Convert all pensions to hybrid retirement plans
  • Publicly list expenses of legislators, and modernize accounting practices
  • Increase the "cooling off" period to two years between legislating and lobbying
  • Require ballot measures for public approval of all legislator raise proposals and benefit expansions

Government should work for the benefit of all people not a select few career politicians enriching themselves and special interests at taxpayers' expense. 

Legislative Waste

Legislative Pay Cut

We need to cut legislative salaries so representatives have a role in fixing the problems that they created. Salary savings should be earmarked to pay down the $43 billion debt from years of unfunded pensions, with another $32 billion on the way.

Combined with the savings, future and current, from cutting the legislature, we could get the debt to a manageable place in 4 years.

Cost of Living Reform

Legislators currently receive cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) according to inflation, which means as the cost of goods goes up, so does the cost of government.

I propose that we instead index legislative pay to the year-over-year change in the bottom 10% of incomes among Pennsylvania workers. This way, when Pennsylvanians are left behind, the legislature feels the pinch. I would also cap the COLA at the inflation rate to prevent huge pay hikes for legislators.

Questions or Suggestions?

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