Finance - March 23, 2012

Corbett Visits Europe

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett is in Germany with a business delegation as part of a Europe visit to boost trade ties.

Corbett was holding meetings Thursday in Stuttgart and Friday in Düsseldorf with representatives of pharmaceutical giant Bayer, software maker SAP AG, and luxury automaker Porsche, among others.

Corbett's office said Germany is one of the five most important export markets for Pennsylvania, and that the governor is focusing on those ties, as well as trying to encourage direct foreign investment into the state and promote and attract tourism.

His trip started Sunday in France, and it ends with the stop Friday in Düsseldorf.

State Rep. Payton Withdraws

State Rep. Tony J. Payton Jr. withdrew from the April 24 Democratic primary Thursday evening, after a two-day Commonwealth Court hearing made clear that he didn't have enough valid signatures on his nominating petitions to stay on the ballot.

Payton submitted 1,854 signatures in his bid for a fourth two-year term representing the 179th District - but a line-by-line examination of those names, with the help of a handwriting analyst, resulted in most being disqualified. The law requires only 300 valid signatures for a candidate to appear on the ballot.

Governor Launches Innovation Office

A newly formed Governor's Innovation Office is tasked with helping Pennsylvania's government work better and more efficiently.

The Innovation Office will sift through state agencies' ideas, suggestions from the public, and recommendations from the Governor's Advisory Council on Privatization and Innovation. It is a part of the Office of Administration with a director and a steering committee, but the main work will be done by groups of existing state employees.