Pennsylvania House of Representatives

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Pennsylvania
House of Representatives
Pennsylvania General Assembly
Coat of arms or logo
Type
Type
Term limits
None
History
New session started
January 3, 2017
Leadership
Speaker of the House
Mike Turzai ( R)
Since January 6, 2015
Majority Leader
Dave Reed ( R)
Since January 6, 2015
Minority Leader
Frank Dermody ( D)
Since January 4, 2011
Structure
Seats 203
Pennsylvania State House of Representatives Partisan Composition.svg
Political groups

Majority

Minority

Length of term
2 years
Authority Article II, section 1, Pennsylvania Constitution
Salary $85,338.65/year [1]
Elections
Last election
November 8, 2016
(203 seats)
Next election
November 6, 2018
(203 seats)
Meeting place
Pennsylvania State Capitol House Chamber.jpg
House of Representatives Chamber
Pennsylvania State Capitol
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Website
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives is the lower house of the bicameral Pennsylvania General Assembly, the legislature of the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. There are 203 members, elected for two-year terms from single member districts. [2] [3]

Following the 2016 elections, the house consisted of 121  Republicans and 82  Democrats. Republican Mike Turzai was first elected Speaker of the House on January 6, 2015. In 2012, a State Representative district had an average population of 60,498 residents.

The house is the largest full-time state legislature in the United States (the New Hampshire House of Representatives is larger but only serves part-time).

Hall of the House

The Hall of the House contains important symbols to Pennsylvania history and the work of legislators.

  • Speaker's Chair: a throne-like chair of rank that sits directly behind the Speaker's rostrum. Architect Joseph Huston designed the chair in 1906, the year the Capitol was dedicated.
  • Mace: the House symbol of authority, peace, order and respect for law rests in a pedestal to the right of the Speaker. Its base is solid mahogany, intricately carved and capped by a brass globe engraved with the Pennsylvania coat of arms. An American Eagle perches on top. The tradition of the mace may date to the Roman Republic when attendants of Roman consuls carried bundles of sticks wrapped around an axe to enforce order. The tradition is common may also come directly from Pennsylvania's English heritage.
  • Murals: a colorful panorama of Pennsylvania history appear in murals by Edwin Austin Abbey. The most commanding of the series hangs behind the Speaker's rostrum and dominates the wall behind the Speaker. It is called The Apotheosis of Pennsylvania
  • Ceiling: a work of art in itself with its ornate geometry of gold leaf buttoned at the center by a charming painted illustration. In "The Hours", Abbey represents the passage of time in the form of 24 maidens revolving in an endless circle amidst the moon, the sun and the stars of the Milky Way. [4]

Speaker of the House

The speakership is the oldest elected statewide office in the Commonwealth. Since its first session in 1682—presided over by William Penn—over 130 house members have been elevated to the speaker's chair. The house cannot hold an official session in the absence of the speaker or his designated speaker pro tempore. Speaker Leroy Irvis was the first African American elected speaker of any state legislature in the United States since Reconstruction. Speaker Dennis O'Brien was the only minority-party Speaker known in Pennsylvania and only the second known nationwide. Pennsylvania has never had a female speaker.

Composition

Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Total
Democratic Republican Vacant
End of previous legislature 84 118 202 1
Begin 82 121 203 0
January 3, 2017 [5] 81 202 1
March 24, 2017 [6] 82 203 0
Latest voting share 40.4% 59.6%

Gender Composition

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives has only 40 women out of 203 total representatives in 2017. [7] At 19.7% this is below the national average of 23.1% women for statewide legislative positions.

House of Representatives Leadership

As of December 1, 2016

Speaker of the House of Representatives: Mike Turzai (R)

Majority Party (R) Leadership Position Minority Party (D)
Dave Reed Floor Leader Frank Dermody
Bryan Cutler Whip Mike Hanna
Marcy Toepel Caucus Chairperson Dan Frankel
Donna Oberlander Caucus Secretary Rosita Youngblood
Stan Saylor Appropriations Committee Chairman Joe Markosek
Kurt Masser Caucus Administrator Neal Goodman
Kerry Benninghoff Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla

Members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives


PENNSYLVANIA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES INFORMATION


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