Wednesday, July 26, 2006

State News-Wednesday

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Republican Lynn Swann is promising top reserve an additional two thousand Pennsylvania farms in his first term as governor. But his campaign is acknowledging today that Swann hasn't determined how he'll raise the hundreds of millions of dollars the plan may require. The state Bureau of Farmland Preservation says purchasing a conservation easement for the average farm costs around 250-thousand dollars. Bureau director Sandy Robison says that using that figure, Swann would need 125 (m) million dollars a year, This year, the state and counties are putting up nearly 150 (m) million to preserve about 67-thousand acres on more than 500 farms. Since Democrat Ed Rendell took office in 2003, more than 800 farms covering more than 81-thousand acres have been protected through the purchases of easements by the state, county and local governments.

PITTSBURGH (AP) - The chief executive of Pittsburgh's H.J. Heinz Company says demands by a group led by billionaire investor Nelson Peltz are -- quote -- unrealistic. The executive, William R. Johnson, made that assessment in anexclusive interview with The Associated Press. Peltz and his New York-based Trian Group, which own five-and-a-half percent of Heinz, have nominated five people to the company's 12-member board and are soliciting shareholder support to implement an aggressive growth plan. Heinz has urged shareholders to reject the nominees and endorse a slate of directors the company has picked. For weeks, the two sides have jousted over the company's performance and management. Peltz has criticized Johnson for failing to improve shareholder value. Heinz officials have been warning that Peltz's plans would cripple the company. The proxy vote is set for August 16th.

WASHINGTON (AP) - House Republicans have backed off from a bill that would prohibit states from taxing mail order houses and other companies that do business in their states without local employees or offices. The measure has run into stiff opposition from governors and state legislatures. The Congressional Budget Office estimates ten states, including Pennsylvania, would bear 70 percent of the costs. G-O-P in Washington leaders couldn't gather enough votes to pass the bill. Businesses are pressing for the measure, saying they need the federal government to intervene in what is a confusing array of state laws that could subject them to taxation. But some House members are afraid the bill could drain millions of dollars from their states.


Post a Comment

<< Home