Monday, February 23, 2015

Legislative Audit Shows House, Senate Have $132.6 Million Surplus

The bicameral, bipartisan Legislative Audit Advisory Commission, chaired by Rep. Mark Keller (R-Perry), Monday voted to accept the audit report of the General Assembly’s finances for the 2013-14 fiscal year as conducted by an independent certified public accounting firm.
The audit shows as of June 30, 2014, the Senate and House had a surplus of $132.6 million in their legislative accounts.
“While the numbers in the audit are already seven months out-of-date, reserve funds are being spent down in large part due to the governor’s budget vetoes,” Rep. Keller said. “But it is important to remember that an adequate reserve be maintained to ensure the independent and continued operation of the General Assembly in the event of a government shutdown, including one created by a budget stalemate, for example.”
The annual audit of the various legislative departments and legislative service agencies revealed a reserve of $161,436,941, as of June 30, 2014. The audit was carried out by Mitchell & Titus, LLP, of Philadelphia.
Below is a breakdown of the June 30, 2014, reserves included in the audit:
-- Senate – $53,747,892
-- House of Representatives – $72,944,882
-- Legislative Reference Bureau – $6,743,307
-- Legislative Budget and Finance Committee – $1,181,938
-- Legislative Data Processing Committee – $14,507,174
-- Joint State Government Commission – $649,199
-- Local Government Commission – $432,354
-- Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control Commission – $260,893
-- LAAC – $189,450
-- Independent Regulatory Review Commission – $1,047,384
-- Capitol Preservation Committee – $3,468,296
-- Independent Fiscal Office – $2,046,050
-- Pennsylvania Legislative Reapportionment Commission – $1,275,554
-- Commonwealth Mail Processing Center – $2,942,568.
“We continue to be as open and transparent as possible with Pennsylvania citizens regarding the findings of the annual audit. Once again, the audit report is fully accessible online,” added Rep. Keller.
The full audit and report, along with audits and reports dating back to 2007, can be viewed on the General Assembly website.
In July of last year, Gov. Corbett vetoed $65 million in General Fund appropriations for the Senate and House beginning July 1, 2014.  On election day in November, the Senate Republicans and Democrats filed a lawsuit challenging Gov. Corbett’s veto actions.
The members of the commission are:  Keller, Rep. Florindo Fabrizio (D-Erie), Sen. Patrick Browne (R-Lehigh), Sen. Lawrence Farnese (D-Philadelphia), Jacqueline Whitcomb (House appointee), Merritt Reitzel (Senate appointee) and Ira Weiss (Senate appointee).

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