Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Daily Briefing, 6/17/2009

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

The biggest story of yesterday was Governor Rendell's announcement that he will seek a half point increase in the Personal Income Tax for three years. The current budget deficit is projected to be $3.2 billion, and the tax hike would raise an estimated $1.5 billion. House and Senate Republicans have declared their opposition to the tax and said that they now believe an on-time budget (June 30) to be a lost cause.

In local news, revenues at the Sands dipped to $4.97 million, although Sands officials are preparing for an increase in future revenues. The Sands remains the busiest casino in Pennsylvania outside of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Meanwhile, the bi-county health board had its $291,000 budget approved yesterday. Speaking of county council, Northampton Councilwoman Diane Neiper resigned over the weekend, as she is leaving the county to be closer to family. And, speaking with reporters yesterday, PPL Chief Jim Miller said that clean coal and nuclear power are how the majority of America's future energy needs will be fulfilled - not green energy.

And here's an interesting piece of state-wide news - showing that he is dead serious about entering the race, Congressman Joe Sestak has begun to assemble a campaign team to run against Arlen Specter in 2010.

In national news, President Obama will sign an executive order tomorrow that offers federal employees health care and other benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees.

We have three Chamber events today: a meeting of the GLV Team 100, a grand opening at Sterling Autobody Centers and a joint lunch between East Penn and Western Lehigh Business Councils.

And that's it for today! Have a great day and we'll catch you later.

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