Thursday, September 17, 2009

Daily Briefing, 9/17/2009

Good morning everyone! Here is today's Daily Briefing.

In Allentown, officials announced yesterday that a Brazilian steakhouse will be opening in the downtown Holiday Inn. In Lehigh County, conversations have begun to consolidate earned income collection as mandated by a recently passed state law - a move that the state says will save millions. Incidentally, The Chamber endorsed this policy when it was becoming law. In Bethlehem, Arts Quest has received a state guarantee on the last $2 million of a $25 million loan project. This loan guarantee will give Arts Quest enough funding to begin construction of SteelStacks in the fall.

In state budget news, Pennsylvania lawmakers said they would work through the night to try and develop a budget. As of 5:30am, we have no update.

In national news, the Senate has voted to cut off federal funding to the ACORN group in the wake of repeated scandals. The vote was 83-7, and Pennsylvania's Senator Bob Casey was one of the seven who voted against cutting off funding. In other news, the government now says that 70% of cash for clunker sales have been paid off. In the health care debate, Senator Max Baucus (D-MA), one of the "gang of six", has released his health care proposal - one that has no Republican cosigners. The bill "is expected to cost about $880 billion over 10 years and would use industry fees, taxes on gold-plated health care plans and mandates on businesses and individuals to keep the price tag from adding to the federal deficit."

And we have a very busy day today at The Chamber, with three events: a Morning with the Maestro's session, featuring PPL's CEO Jim Miller, our annual Environmental Innovations Conference, and a Northampton College Southside Bethlehem mixer.

And that's it! Have a great day - we'll have at least one entry for you later today.

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