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Sovereign2142 t1_ivnsw9x wrote

Honestly, why do we need a bicameral legislature? It’s not like senators represent any different interests than the house representatives (unlike the federal senate). It’s just more gridlock and government salaries.


QueueWho t1_ivo2qe1 wrote

I wonder if we could shrink the legislature if we had a single house, where the lowest population County gets one rep, and the highest population county gets a proportional number of reps by their difference in population size. It would certainly more accurately represent the demographics of the state, and eliminate jerrymandering.


Lumeria t1_ivodqnq wrote

You see, the problem with that is if we did that we’d theoretically have nearly 3000 representatives for closest-to-proportional seat distribution. Cameron County has 4500 residents, making it the smallest county, and we have 13 million people, for reference.

It’s honestly be better to either eliminate the Senate and simply add those seats into the house pool (so 253 seats total) or eliminate the Senate and adhere to the Cube Root Rule (235 seats).


QueueWho t1_ivoeor0 wrote

jesus can we just wrap them into their neighbor county? Had no idea some were that small.


Lumeria t1_ivog5c4 wrote

After Cameron, there’s Sullivan and Forest Counties that both under 10k population as well (6000 and 7000-ish respectively). If I’d had to guess, they probably roll some of their county operations in with their neighbors (or, at least, I know some counties do that).

As a fun fact, out of 67 counties, 27~ of them are smaller than the average state house seat currently.


QueueWho t1_ivohlgq wrote

So they are over represented AND jerrymandered.


cowboyjosh2010 t1_ivpn6it wrote

I recently did a deep dive of populations on a city/town level basis in Pennsylvania. There are 2,570 towns/cities/boroughs/whatevers in PA, and the average population size is 5,046 people per city/town. 26% of our population lives in a town/borough that is smaller than this average, but they're spread out over approximately 1,600 towns. Literally almost 2/3 of the cities/towns/boroughs in PA are so small that they're smaller than the average. No wonder so many in this state have a hard time accepting that the cities really do pack a voting punch! Most of the towns you encounter are miniscule by comparison

Here's another fun one: if you take the bottom-1,000 ranking of towns by size (so, like, start with Centralia at literally just 4 residents, and add up towns as they increase in size to the one thousandth bigger town from there), you get a population of about 1.276 million, or roughly 10% of the state, spread out over 39% of the towns. That sounds like a lot of people, until you realize that the city of Philadelphia alone has more residents than that. It's so big, that you could spot Pittsburgh's 300,000 residents to these bottom-1,000 towns by size, and they'd STILL only just barely have as many people as Philadelphia does.

Population distribution is a wild thing.


BluCurry8 t1_ivoxi6m wrote

We have been asking for them to reduce the legislature for over 20 years. It is the most expensive in the country.


Brigadier_Beavers t1_ivomzq0 wrote

I think its a holdover from Philly being the US capital long ago and the state wanted to mirror the federal government. Admittedly though without the state senate PA would be more conservative-representing. Pennsyltucky is real.

Edit: not saying theres more R than D voters in total, but gerrymandering and voter restrictions would be worse today if not for the state senate existing.


Sovereign2142 t1_ivonxay wrote

That's exactly it, according to Wikipedia, the General Assembly actually was unicameral until 1791. Just 4 years after the Constitution was adopted.

Realistically, with multi-member districts and rank-choice voting we could eliminate a lot of the geographic advantage that Republicans have and get a legislature that more closely represents the voters' will. A unicameral legislature is just one part of it.


DoctorSteve OP t1_ivpk4bg wrote

We need to do that. We can't let these empty rural counties dominate our politics if PA is going to be a modern state.