Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Daily Briefing, 4/28/2009

Good morning everyone! Here is what we have for you today.

The Mayor's of Allentown, Pittsburgh and Reading met with legislators and their aides yesterday to discuss a plan to consolidate the state's 3,100 pension plans. Local governments are facing massive pension obligations after the economy declined over the past year. But there is some good news in terms of local money, as an extra $5 million may be available for Valley-wide road projects. However, unemployment in the Valley rose to 8.3%, rising for the 6th straight month - however, this is the smallest increase in five months. There was also some mixed news for the Morning Call: print readership is down, but online readership was significantly up, resulting in an overall rise of 9.2%. The Bethlehem Area School Board has accepted the resignation of superintendent Dr. Joseph Lewis.

The World Health Organization has raised the threat level in regards to swine flu, with over 150 deaths from the flu now reported. The Valley is preparing for swine flu, just in case it comes to Pennsylvania, something that emergency response officials say they expect to occur. Cases have been reported in Ohio and possibly New York as well. GM will cut 21,000 jobs and end their Pontiac line. The U.S. House and Senate have agreed on a budget resolution for the 2010 budget - this means that both will vote on the budget once more, possibly as soon as Tuesday, before it proceeds to a full vote. And, just in case you were wondering, about $75 billion of the stimulus funding has been spent, mostly on Medicaid costs.

Business Matters aired yesterday, and this show featured an interview with all four Lehigh Valley Senators. The show should be available online later today, and you can check out the Business Matters blog to join in the debate.

And that's it! Have a great day and we'll talk to you soon.

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