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Amendments propose to cut Mo. House size by one-third

Amendments propose to cut Mo. House size by one-third

January 8th, 2012 in News

Members of the Missouri House of Representatives give House Speaker Steve Tilley, R-Perryville, left, a standing ovation following his opening day remarks.

Photo by Kelley McCall

At 163 seats, Missouri's House of Representatives is the nation's fourth largest state House.

"Certainly, after serving in that body for six years, and serving (about) 35,000 constituents, I think it's very manageable for a representative to represent around 50,000 people," said state Sen. Jim Lembke, R-Lemay, who's planning to introduce this week a constitutional amendment proposal to cut the Missouri House to 103 seats.

"It would save the taxpayers about $5 million a year, and, I think, we're in the mode of restructuring state government in Missouri because of our current budget crisis."

Although Missouri's House is the nation's fourth largest, the state Senate's 34 members ranks 36th among the states. So, the Legislature's total size ranks seventh in the nation.

Based on the 2010 Census, Missouri is the 18th largest state. And, when looking at the ratio of lawmakers to population, Missouri's 30,401 people for each of the 197 state lawmakers ranks Missouri 24th.