House of Representatives
|Pennsylvania General Assembly|
New session started
|January 5, 2021|
Length of term
|Authority||Article II, section 1, Pennsylvania Constitution|
|November 3, 2020|
|November 8, 2022|
|House of Representatives Chamber|
Pennsylvania State Capitol
|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.
It is the largest full-time state legislature in the country. The New Hampshire House of Representatives is larger but only serves part-time.
According to the Pennsylvania Constitution, representatives must be at least 21 years old. They must be citizens and residents of the state for a minimum of four years and reside in their districts for at least one year.
Hall of the House
The Hall of the House contains important symbols of 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 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.
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 their 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.
In 2012, a State Representative district had an average population of 60,498 residents.
As of March 16, 2021[update]:
Speaker of the House of Representatives: Bryan Cutler (R)
|Majority party (R)||Leadership position||Minority party (D)|
|Kerry Benninghoff||Floor Leader||Joanna McClinton|
|Donna Oberlander||Whip||Jordan Harris|
|George Dunbar||Caucus Chairperson||Dan Miller|
|Martina White||Caucus Secretary||Tina Davis|
|Stan Saylor||Appropriations Committee Chairman||Matt Bradford|
|Kurt Masser||Caucus Administrator||Mike Schlossberg|
|Martin Causer||Policy Committee Chairman||Ryan Bizzarro|
- Elected in special election on May 21, 2019 to fill unexpired term.
- Elected in special election on August 20, 2019 to fill unexpired term.
- Elected in special election on March 12, 2019 to fill unexpired term.
Past composition of the House of Representatives
- Aging & Older Adult Services
- Agriculture & Rural Affairs
- Children & Youth
- Committee On Committees
- Committee On Ethics
- Consumer Affairs
- Environmental Resources & Energy
- Game & Fisheries
- Gaming Oversight
- Government Oversight
- Human Services
- Labor & Industry
- Liquor Control
- Local Government
- Professional Licensure
- Rules Representative
- State Government
- Tourism & Recreational Development
- Urban Affairs
- Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness
- Pennsylvania State Senate
- Project Vote Smart (Pennsylvania State Legislative information and voting records is the link to the Pennsylvania section.)
- List of Pennsylvania state legislatures
- Rep. Freeman previously served from 1983 to 1994.
- Rep. Neilson previously served from 2012 to 2014.
- "Comparison of state legislative salaries - Ballotpedia".
- Article II, section 2, Pennsylvania Constitution.
- Article II, section 16, Pennsylvania Constitution.
- Center, Legislativate Data Processing. "Pennsylvania General Assembly". Pennsylvania General Assembly. Archived from the original on 2006-12-18. Retrieved 2007-01-15.
- "Lancaster County Rep. Bryan Cutler elected speaker of Pa. House of Representatives".
- Cole, John (2020-11-10). "PA House Leadership Race Chatter". PoliticsPA. Retrieved 2020-11-12.
- "House Democrats elect leaders for upcoming legislative session". Pennsylvania House Democratic Caucus. 2020-11-12. Retrieved 2020-11-13.
- Cole, John (2021-01-26). "Dunbar Elected House GOP Caucus Chairman". PoliticsPA. Retrieved 2021-01-26.
- "Standing Committees and Chair". Legis State Pa US. Retrieved November 27, 2020.
- Trostle, Sharon, ed. (2009). The Pennsylvania Manual. 119. Harrisburg: Pennsylvania Department of General Services. ISBN 978-0-8182-0334-3.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Pennsylvania House of Representatives.|
- Pennsylvania House of Representatives
- State House of Pennsylvania information and voting records This link leads to information about elected officials and candidates in Pennsylvania on the website "Project Vote Smart." This web site provides such information for all states in the US.