(Harrisburg) -- Spending by the Pennsylvania Legislature declined last year, but its surplus grew.
The Legislative Audit Advisory Commission today accepted a report from an outside auditor that details spending by the legislative branch in the year that ended in June 2013.
Total spending was about $302 million, down $5 million from the previous year. The Senate spent $89 million and the larger House spent $180 million.
The legislative reserve, which lawmakers justify as insurance against a potential budget standoff with the governor, swelled to $154 million from $140 million the previous year, reversing a downward trend that began in 2006.
The eight-member commission, which includes legislators and non-legislators, endorsed the auditor's recommendation that the Legislature adopt a formal policy on the appropriate amount of the reserve.
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