AAC approves general assembly's audit report for 2012-13

Pennsylvania's bipartisan Legislative Audit Advisory Commission (LAAC) voted on June 18 to accept the state government's audit report for the 2012-13 fiscal year.

The annual audit, which spans numerous legislative departments and agencies, showed total reserves of $153.6 million as of June 30, 2013. Pennsylvania's Senate had $50 million in reserves, while the House of Representatives had approximately $71.8 million.

"We strive to be as open and transparent with the public as possible about the findings of the annual audit, which we have made fully accessible and easy to comprehend," State Sen. Mark Keller (R-86), the chairman of the eight-member LAAC, said. "It is important to maintain an adequate reserve 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."

Though the state does have a reserve cushion, the Independent Fiscal Office announced recently that the state faces a two-year deficit of more than $1.4 billion.

Formed in 1970, LAAC is responsible for making recommendations for the improvement of pre-auditing and examining the standards of audits performed. In addition to Keller, the commission includes State Rep. Florindo Fabrizio (D-2), State Sens. Patrick Browne (R-16) and Vincent Hughes (D-7), along with public members Kevin Mitchell, Merritt Reitzel, Ira Weiss and Jacqueline Whitcomb.