Missouri Senate passes bill to eliminate 60 House representatives

The Missouri Senate has passed and now sends to the House a bill that would eliminate 60 state representatives from the House after the next census.

The bill would cut the number of Missouri representatives from 163 to 103.

Missouri has the fourth-largest House in the country, according to bill sponsor Sen. Jim Lembke, R-Lemay.

“This is about having a manageable statehouse, and across state government, making changes that would save taxpayers money,” Lembke said. “This would save taxpayers about $5 million a year.”

Opponents of the bill, such as Sen. Luann Ridgeway, R-Smithville, said cutting representatives would cause leaders to be less in touch with their constituents.

“In this time of term limits, we need to keep our representatives as close to the people as possible,” Ridgeway said. “By

diluting the number of representatives and increasing the number of people they would represent, it is of necessity that it would be harder to stay in touch with the people.”

If the House passes the bill, it would go into effect after the next census and when current representatives already have been term-limited out of office.

The idea of cutting the size of the House has been around for years, but legislation typically is halted in the House.

– Missouri Digital News