Budget will be late, cigarette taxes probably going up, crashing the Palace, big ethanol plant planned for port

Today was the deadline for the state budget, but it looks like it won't be ready until Thursday (maybe). In the meantime, an interim $332 million budget extension will carry the state until then. [TU]

Whenever the new budget is ready, there's a good chance it will include a provision that will double the state tax on cigarettes to three dollars a pack. An average pack of cigarettes would then cost about seven dollars in New York. That state could raise as much as $325 million from the tax increase. [AP/Newsday] [TU]

A car crashed through the front doors of the Palace Theater yesterday. [TU]

The question is not who is running for the 21st Congressional seat (McNulty's current spot), but who is not. The latest to jump in: John Aretakis. The attorney made his name suing the Catholic Church over clergy abuse accusations. There are now nine people who have declared they're in this race, including seven Democrats. [Daily Gazette] [AOA Congressional Who's In, Who's Out Scorecard]

A plan to build a big ethanol plant at the Port of Albany is in the works. The port's commission voted to approve the lease for the plant and the developer is trying to raise $240 million to make it happen. [Daily Gazette]

New York's top judge, Judith Kaye, made another appeal Monday for a pay raise for state judges. They haven't had a pay raise in 10 years. [Business Review]

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