A rough plan for the state budget, unemployment rate up, APD to publish crime map, Lebrun into semi-retirement

Governor Paterson and legislative leaders announced that they have a rough outline for a state budget. The plan would increase state spending about 4.5 percent to about $124 billion and restores about $500 million in cuts that Paterson had recently proposed. It does not include the new tax on million dollar incomes that Sheldon Silver has been pushing. The completed budget is due April 1. [NYT]

Officials in Saratoga Springs are happy about the state budget plan because it looks like it will preserve the city's cut of VLT money, which makes up about 10 percent of the city's budget. Spitzer's plan would have taken much of that money away. [Saratogian]

Paterson says he doesn't think the state budget can include pay raises for legislators. But no worry, they can always just use campaign cash for seemingly whatever they choose. Falling under "whatever": Bills tickets, dinner at Jack's, a trip to Ireland. [AP/TU]

Kirsten Gillibrand made appearances through the area yesterday to talk about infrastructure, taxes and alternative energy. Not talked about: her pregnancy, though a constituent thinks the Congresswoman is going to have a boy. [TU]

The Capital Region's unemployment rate hit 5.1 percent (up from 4.4 a year ago), which was actually higher than that of the statewide rate (5 percent). That hasn't happened in a long time. [TU]

A state appeals court ruled that the town of Ballston was within its rights to change its zoning rules in order to keep a new Wal-Mart from being built. [Daily Gazette]

The Albany PD unveiled a system that will plot recent crimes on an online map. The system will also include the ability for the department to take tips via... email. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Roundabout fever is spreading! The latest to catch it? Scotia. [Daily Gazette]

Fred Lebrun is heading into semi-retirement. [TU]

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