Thursday, December 11, 2008

Daily Briefing, 12/12/2008

Happy Friday! Here is your Chamber world

Lehigh County Authority and the City of Allentown have struck a deal that will allow Allentown to sell water to the LCA. The LCA will still be allowed to expand two wells in Lower Macungie. Northampton County ratifyed a tax free budget, though County Executive Stoffa warned that future tax increases are possible. The Executive also argued that the County should look for a way to turn the parks system over to local municipalities. In Easton, the income tax was officially raised 150% to close the budget gap. A deal was also struck with the Easton police that will allow for a 5.5% raise but mandate that police officers pay towards their health benefits. And in Lehigh County, County Commissioners reversed their earlier decision and have voted to accept funding for trees for local municipalities. The funding was originally rejected on the grounds that commissioners didn't like accepting funding for trees when they were facing cuts in human services. And, good news for the whole Valley, as the Bethlehem Brew Works is set to reopen after a small fire this past weekend.

Nationally, the auto bailout deal appears dead, at least for the moment, after the Senate failed to get the 60 votes required to stop a filibuster launched by Senate Republicans who are opposed to the measure. The bill had passed the house. Chrystler and GM are now facing a potential bankrupcy. Unemployeement numbers jumped to 573,000 filing first-time benefit claims this week, the highest since 1982. Bank of America will lay off 35,000 employees over the next three years.

That is it for today! We hope everyone has a great weekend!

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