Pennsylvania has one of the largest state assemblies in the country with 253 members. This has led many advocates of smaller to government to consider shrinking the size of the state's over-staffed, over-priced legislature. Research by Penssylvania's Commonwealth Foundation has found that reducing the number of legislators does not substantially change the cost, effectiveness, or accountability of the assembly.
While the cost of the General Assembly has skyrocketed, Pennsylvania's economy has remained stagnant. For the period 1991-2009, the Keystone State ranked: 43rd in job growth, 48th in personal income growth, and 47th in population growth. In 1977, with a part-time legislature, the Commonwealth had the 22nd heaviest tax burden; today, Pennsylvania ranks 11th in state and local tax burden per capita and 45th in economic freedom.A Commonwealth Foundation analysis found that "each increase in the level of professionalization [of legislators] results in an estimated $441 increase in spending per person, and a 0.4% increase in taxes as a percentage of income. Benefield compares PA to Texas, which has a part-time assembly that meets 140 days over a two-year term. The Texas assembly passes more bills (probably smaller, easier-to-read bills) and maintains better job growth than Pennsylvania's "professionals."