The Maine House voted May 31 to back a bill that would abolish the House and Senate and replace it with one 151-member chamber.

The bill, LD 804, was supported 78-66 in the House. The Senate has yet to vote on the measure.

The Legislature’s State and Local Government Committee had recommended approval of the bill, which is sponsored by Rep. Linda Valentino, D-Saco.

On May 31, local legislators were in disagreement over the measure and not just along party lines. The bill would require voter approval for the amendment to the state’s Constitution.

There is currently a House with 151 members and a Senate with 35 members. The new legislators, under the bill, would be called senators.

Voting for the single chamber were Reps. Edward Mazurek, D-Rockland; Chuck Kruger, D-Thomaston; Joan Welsh, D-Rockport; Andrew O’Brien, D-Lincolnville; Elsie Flemings, D-Bar Harbor, and Deborah Sanderson, R-Chelsea.

Welsh said she believes the current legislature is too large and unwieldy.

“I support efforts to save taxpayer dollars and help us to be more efficient, which I think a Unicameral legislature would be,” Welsh said.

Kruger said he voted for it because it would allow the voters to decide at a statewide referendum. Sanderson said she also wanted voters to have the opportunity to vote on the matter.

Voting against the consolidation bill were Reps. Wes Richardson, R-Warren; Dana Dow, R-Waldoboro; Walter Kumiega III of Deer Isle; and Jonathan McKane, R-Newcastle.

Kumiega said while it would save money he said it was better for citizens to have two legislators to represent them.

The Senate has yet to vote on the measure that would take effect for the Legislature that convenes in December 2016.

Constitutional amendments do not go to voters unless two thirds of both the House and Senate support the bill. The House margin was less than two-thirds.