A proposal introduced by Sen. David G. Argall (R-29) would give fourth class counties the option to merge the offices of prothonotary and clerk of courts. The legislation comes at the request of Schuylkill County Prothonotary David Dutcavich.

"I respect David's commitment to increasing efficiencies within county government," Argall said. "When David ran for public office in 2011, he campaigned on this issue and we began working on how to make this work for Schuylkill County."

The legislation would give the County Commissioners the option to merge the two offices as the county deems fit.

"When I talk to Schuylkill County residents, they want to see their government function more efficiently," Dutcavich said. "We need to lead by example and this is my way of fulfilling one of the main issues I campaigned for when I first sought public office."

Argall said government on all levels should seek ways to increase efficiencies.

"At the state level, I am supportive of bills to reduce the size of the General Assembly. When families sit around a kitchen table and find a way to make their budget work, I believe their governments should do the same thing. I applaud David and look forward to working this issue through the legislative process."

Currently, fourth class counties are the least populated class of counties with a separate Prothonotary and Clerk of Court as row offices. Pennsylvania has nine Fourth Class counties.

Senate Bill 1124 awaits consideration in the Senate Local Government Committee.