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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Scarnati Measure Would Eliminate
Lieutenant Govenor, Two Court Positions

Pennsylvania state senators are not only supporting a reduction in the size of the state Legislature, they are looking to reduce the size of the Executive and Judicial branches as well.

The Senate State Government Committee today approved bills that would reduce the size of the House from 203 to 153 seats, and the Senate from 50 to 45.

An amendment to the bills sponsored by Senator Joe Scarnati would do away with two of the seven Supreme Court justices and eliminate the position of lieutenant governor. Scarnati, who as Senate President Pro Tempore, served as lieutenant governor upon the death of Catherine Baker Knoll, says reductions in all three branches of government would show taxpayers Harrisburg is serious about reform.

“Making these changes, I think, sends a very strong message at a time when we are having difficulty balancing budgets,” Scarnati said.

Eliminating the post of lieutenant governor would put the Senate president pro tem in line to temporarily succeed a governor who dies or otherwise vacates the post.

Each proposal must be approved in two consecutive Legislative sessions before going to voters in a statewide referendum.

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