State News Roundup
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Volkswagen has announced plans to expand its $1 billion dollar factory in Chattanooga, Tenn. The expansionshould add around 800 jobs to the area and is partly due to increased demand. With target car sales at 500,000 this year, VW’s sales model requires that increased production locally be implemented. This is the second time since January that VW has added positions in the US workforce. The effort reflects interests by the car company to move production away from Euro based systems and increase production locally.
In Idaho, EPA regulations have forced Mike and Chantell Sackett of Priest Lake to sue the government in an effort to have a case held on their desire to build on their land. The case, which the Supreme Court ruled on yesterday, has now given the right to land owners to contest EPA regulations regarding construction on lands that the EPA has deemed to be wetlands. Previously, those served with compliance orders from the EPA had no recourse until the agency had fined them. The fine could be as much as $75,000 per day until lands had been returned to their natural condition. Now those served with compliance orders are granted hearings regarding the condition of their lands.
The U.S. housing market has seen improvement in the past month as sales of existing homes were at their highest levels since 2007. As investment rises in new home and residential real-estate increases, the market slowly begins to rebound. One University of California, Berkeley commented, “Housing was pulling us down consistently, quarter after quarter, for years. That was really over in 2011.” Signifying some returning confidence in the housing market. Though this is good news, the Wall Street Journal insists that housing prices have yet to “hit rock bottom.”