Thursday, December 11, 2008

Daily Briefing, 12/11/2008

Morning everyone! Here is your Chamber news of the day.

In local news, Lehigh County announced the awarding of $770,000 in Green Futures funding to urban parks. The funding comes from the Commonwealth. Allentown received the biggest portion of the funding for five projects. Northampton County's pension fund has lost $78 million this year, thanks to the economy, but the board was told that the fund remains in comparatively good shape.

On the jobs front, there is good and bad news. The bad news comes from Mack Trucks, who has announced that they will lay off 180 manufacturing workers. The job losses will come two days before Christmas. In good news, the Sanofi Pastuer pharmaceutical company is considering moving to Upper Saucon. Such a move would bring an unknown number of jobs to the area.

Nationally, the House of Representatives passed the auto bailout bill, totaling $14 billion in loans. Locally, Congressmen Dent and Gerlach voted against the bill. It now heads to the Senate, where it faces a possible Republican filibuster. Meanwhile, the number of states that currently have inadequate revenue to cover expenses is at 43. That number was 29 last year, and the total deficit among all the states is over $100 billion. In Pennsylvania, Governor Rendell has announced his plan to plug the $1.6 billion budget gap. The Governor's plan calls for tapping $375 million in reserves, $500 million in spending cuts, diverting $175 million in state and oil sales funding and relying on $400 million in expected federal aid from the incoming Obama administration.

And last, two Chamber events today. The first is a grand opening at the new Team Capital Bank on Tilghman Street in South Whitehall, while the second is a mixer at the Four Points Sheraton in Allentown.

Have a great day!

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