From Laura Olson at the main site:
HARRISBURG -- A state House committee voted 18-6 this morning on a measure that would eliminate 50 of that chamber's legislative districts.
That bill, introduced by House Speaker Sam Smith, R-Jefferson, and labeled House Bill 153, would reduce the current 203 representatives down to a new total of 153. Mr. Smith has said that a smaller number of elected officials would make debates more manageable and the legislative body more effective.
"There's nothing magical about the number 203 -- in fact, it came about by accident," Mr. Smith said in a statement. "Yet reports and studies have indicated that groups more than 150 tend to be less efficient."
Staffers for House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, R-Bradford Woods, said in a tweet regarding the committee vote that he plans to schedule a vote by the entire chamber on the measure "soon."
However, changing the number of lawmakers in a particular chamber requires a constitutional change. Legislation would need to be approved during two consecutive sessions, and then authorized by voters in a referendum.