Capitol Roundup from Rep. Mike Peifer
4/24/2015
Right-Sizing the Pennsylvania General Assembly
This week, the House State Government Committee voted in favor of two bills to reduce the size of the state House and Senate. House Bill 153 would reduce the size of the House by 52 seats, from 203 to 151. House Bill 384 would reduce the size of the Senate from 50 members to 37.
  
Supporters of the legislation say a smaller Legislature would lead to greater efficiency and to a reduction in costs.
 
Similar proposals have gained House passage in the past, but were not taken up by the Senate. Any reduction in the size of the House and Senate requires passage of a constitutional amendment, meaning these bills must pass the House and Senate in two consecutive sessions and gain approval of the voters.
 
House Passes Bill to Protect Public Safety in Labor Disputes
Legislation to remove an exception that allows harassment, stalking or making threats by those involved in labor disputes was passed by the House this week and will now be considered by the Senate. House Bill 874 would not impact labor unions which are involved in lawful disputes or protests. Specifically, the legislation would address loopholes in Pennsylvania’s legal system where criminal actions are immune to prosecution or conviction because they occur during a labor dispute.
 
Pennsylvania’s Connection to President Lincoln
This week at the state Capitol, the House recognized the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s funeral. President Lincoln died on April 15, 1865, and one week later, on April 21, his nine-car funeral train steamed out of Washington, D.C., stopping in the Pennsylvania cities of York, Harrisburg and Philadelphia, for what became one of most historic train journeys in American history. Lincoln’s open coffin was placed in state at the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from the evening of April 21 through the morning of April 22. 
 
To commemorate this historical event, several programs were held throughout the State Capitol. On Tuesday, April 21, Joseph Garerra, executive director of the Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum, spoke to House members about Lincoln’s unique relationship with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Rare Lincoln artifacts, on loan from the Heritage Museum, were on display in the Capitol on April 21 and 22. The exhibit included an exact replica of Lincoln’s coffin. Locally, the blood-stained American flag that was present at Ford’s Theatre on the night Lincoln was assassinated, is on display at The Columns, the museum of the Pike County Historical Society.
 
Representative Mike Peifer
139th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Morgan Wagner
(717) 260-6281
mwagner@pahousegop.com
RepPeifer.com
 
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