Letter to the Editor

Missouri is over represented

The Missouri House has 163 members. I think about half that many would be better.

First, taxpayers would save millions.

Second, each year many bills are filed, debated and sometimes passed that are little more than political statements. For example, those that seek to override federal laws or those who seek to impeach the governor over partisan issues.

Third, each year many bills are filed, debated and sometimes passed that seek to punish people for exercising their rights. For example, those aimed at punishing women and gays.

Fourth, constituent services, which is the direct help people may ask of their representative, is mainly provided by staff employees and could be done just as well with fewer representatives.

Fifth, the districts could be made more inclusive. The existing small districts allow gerrymandering to have great effect.

And sixth, downsizing state government is needed in some areas, and it would be good to start at the top.

Most states have only two to three times as many representatives as state senators. Missouri has almost five times as many. Some states do have fewer people in each representative district than Missouri, but some states have many more. And no extra cost or effort would be required if the cuts were made during the normal redistricting cycle that occurs every 10 years following the census.

I think a smaller Missouri House of Representatives would be better for the above reasons, and I also think a smaller house would be more focused, productive and professional.

GARY L. GAINES, Cape Girardeau