States Consider Legislator Layoffs to Trim Budgets
JEFFERSON CITY(AP) - Almost every state legislature is talking about cutting costs and services because of budget problems, but a few also are talking about downsizing themselves.
Lawmakers in about a half-dozen states have proposed shrinking the number of legislators elected, which would save millions of dollars in office, staff and travel expenses. The odds remain against any proposals passing this year. But they're getting more attention because of the pressure to economize.
A Missouri plan to reduce the House from 163 members to 103 was approved by a Senate committee and sent to the floor. It promises costs savings of $4.7 million annually.
Downsizing proposals also have been offered in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Maine, Wisconsin and Kansas. But they face major obstacles, including the difficulty of passing constitutional amendments.