March 20, 2017

Senate, House Had $118M Surplus In 2015-16, 71% Increase In Budget Since 1994

The Legislative Audit Advisory Commission Monday accepted the audit report of the General Assembly’s financing which revealed a surplus of $118,442,957 as of June 30, 2016.
“Reserve funds are necessary to ensure the continued and independent operation of the General Assembly,” said Commission Chair Rep. Mark Keller (R-Cumberland). “As recently as two years ago, we had to draw down from these reserves during the lengthy budget impasse about whether to increase sales and income taxes, or control spending.”
Rep. Keller pointed out that the current reserve is about $90 million less than it was 10 years ago, when it totaled more than $210 million.
Below is a breakdown of the reserves included in the audit (as of June 30, 2016):
-- Senate – $23,348,536;
-- House of Representatives – $56,903,139;
-- Legislative Reference Bureau – $6,627,653;
-- Legislative Budget and Finance Committee – $1,352,783;
-- Legislative Data Processing Committee – $14,283,218;
-- Joint State Government Commission – $920,934;
-- Local Government Commission – $631,190;
-- Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control Commission – $376,685;
-- LAAC – $222,000;
-- Independent Regulatory Review Commission – $1,491,058;
-- Capitol Preservation Committee – $3,178,473;
-- Independent Fiscal Office – $2,755,627;
-- Pennsylvania Legislative Reapportionment Commission – $1,003,999;
-- Commonwealth Mail Processing Center – $4,623,721; and
-- Center for Rural Pennsylvania – $723,941.
“Our goal is to make the audit documents easy to understand and fully accessible to Pennsylvania citizens,” Rep. Keller added. “The public is encouraged to go to the website and review them.”
The full report will be posted on the Legislative Audit Advisory Commission webpage.
Senate/House Budget History
In FY 2002-03 the budget for the House and Senate was $258.1 million which increased to $312.9 million in FY 2016-17.  The General Assembly’s General Fund budget in FY 1994-95 was $182.9 million, which means the Senate and House increased their budget over the last 23 years.