Saturday, January 22, 2011

Shapiro Bill to Eliminate Legislative Surplus

from the inbox:

State Rep. Josh Shapiro, D-Montgomery, announced today that he intends to introduce legislation to statutorily eliminate the legislative surplus and circulated a memo to his colleagues asking for co-sponsorship of his legislation.

In December, the General Assembly audit, completed by independent auditors from Ernst & Young and unanimously approved by the Legislative Audit Advisory Commission, found that the legislature ended the 2010 fiscal year with a $188,554,281 legislative surplus. The audit recommended that Pennsylvania adopt a policy to limit the legislative surplus.

“Most states have policies in place to either prohibit legislative surpluses or to limit them,” said Shapiro. “I believe we should eliminate the legislative surplus in Pennsylvania and, given the challenging fiscal climate we face as we prepare for the upcoming budget, we ought to use the current surplus to address the needs of Pennsylvanians.”

Shapiro’s legislation would eliminate the surplus completely but includes a provision to allow for limited emergency spending authority by the legislature in the event the budget cannot be passed by the June 30 deadline, and only if authorized by the speaker of the House and the president pro tempore of the Senate.

The audit documents can be viewed online at

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