Shrinking Missouri government

Or more specifically, downsizing the House of Representatives. That’s the case Patrick Tuohey makes in his latest piece in the Missouri Record, citing legislation introduced by Rep. Will Kraus and others in recent years. The bills have never gained traction, but Tuohey, Kraus and others argue – quite sensibly – that a physically smaller government will lead to one that spends less, costs less, and is more deliberative. Thanks to the Around the Blogosphere for the tip.

I think the biggest reason this is likely to never happen is the simple fact that politicians would be voting to eliminate their own jobs. When was the last time that happened? Proponents recognize this, and in turn suggest a relatively modest scaleback in number of members.

One stat that would be interesting to note is where Missouri ranks compared to other states in terms of population size of district. We rank 4th in overall number of state reps, but what are we in terms of the relative size of the constituency each member serves and represents?

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