tocacco plant Native American Tobaccoo flower, leaves, and buds

tocacco Tobacco is an annual or bi-annual growing 1-3 meters tall with large sticky leaves that contain nicotine. Native to the Americas, tobacco has a long history of use as a shamanic inebriant and stimulant. It is extremely popular and well-known for its addictive potential.

tocacco nicotina Nicotiana tabacum

tocacco Nicotiana rustica leaves. Nicotiana rustica leaves have a nicotine content as high as 9%, whereas Nicotiana tabacum (common tobacco) leaves contain about 1 to 3%

tocacco cigar A cigar is a tightly rolled bundle of dried and fermented tobacco which is ignited so that its smoke may be drawn into the mouth. Cigar tobacco is grown in significant quantities in Brazil, Cameroon, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Indonesia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Sumatra, Philippines, and the Eastern United States.

tocacco Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the fresh leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as an organic pesticide, and in the form of nicotine tartrate it is used in some medicines. In consumption it may be in the form of cigarettes smoking, snuffing, chewing, dipping tobacco, or snus.

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Some plain talk on cash crisis

ALBANY — Faced with the possibility New York will run short of cash in two months, Gov. David Paterson on Wednesday told legislative leaders he’d like to make his case before rank-and-file lawmakers.

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The governor said he’s considering addressing a joint session of the Legislature within the next two weeks in order to convince lawmakers of the urgent need to cut $3 billion from this year’s deficit.

A fair-sized chunk of that money needs to be cut soon, since $5.1 billion in payments to local schools, counties and towns will be due in December.

“This problem has got to be resolved in a month,” said Paterson. “You’re going to have to pay the bills and balance the books. It’s a simple as that.”

His remarks came during a five-way meeting between the governor and legislative leaders at the Capitol. The top lawmakers said they were on board with Paterson’s plans to cut $500 million from his own state agencies, but signaled that they would fight certain aspects of his plan to cut $480 million in local school aid and other education costs as well as $500 million in health care.

One after another, the leaders declared their willingness to bear down on the hard work of budget reduction, and then expressed deep concerns over aspects of the governor’s blueprint for going about it.

“We have disagreements with respect to this,” Democratic Senate Majority Conference Leader John Sampson said, referring to Paterson’s plan to cut money from the budgets of the SUNY and CUNY systems.

Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos bemoaned the elimination of school property tax rebates, which would have gone out around this time of year. “We’re getting the calls (from the public) right now,” he said.

Assembly Democratic Majority Speaker Sheldon Silver said he objects to cuts in SSI payments to the disabled and college tuition grants.

Paterson, a former Senate Democratic leader, and Sampson clashed in public for the second time in just over a month. The Senate leader suggested that refinancing tobacco bonds could generate $500 million (that move, however, would add to long-term costs). Tobacco bonds are payments the state makes in return for up-front cash it received from federal tobacco lawsuit settlements.

Paterson called the idea a “non-starter” and, after the meeting, said the notion represented “phony revenues.”

Last month, Sampson had said his conference wasn’t yet convinced that the governor’s deficit numbers were accurate, although he didn’t pursue that line of argument on Wednesday.

Despite their slim 32-to-30-vote majority, Senate Democrats could be pivotal in deciding whether the Legislature as a whole approves or blocks Paterson’s education and health care cuts.

Republicans appear unlikely to approve education cuts, which are a political flashpoint in the GOP stronghold of Long Island, Skelos’ home base.

It remained unclear when the Legislature would return to Albany to address the deficit plan. Paterson had initially proposed a special session for Tuesday, Oct. 27; on Tuesday, he said he could push it back a day to accommodate a major GOP fundraiser. On Wednesday, Paterson seemed willing to move the session into the first week of November in order to allow the Senate to complete public hearings on the cuts package.

“Hearings are not going to improve cash flow,” Skelos said, in a rebuke aimed at Sampson.

Paterson, who was joined at the meeting by Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch, insisted that making cuts by December is key to avoiding even more problems. “I’m looking for immediate savings,” the governor said. “The date we have to worry about is Dec. 15. That’s when the payments are due.”

On Tuesday, Paterson’s Budget Director Robert Megna predicted the state may miss some of those payments unless the situation changes.

“Based on current revenue trends, the state may not have the resources necessary to make all of those expenditures,” warned Megna in a statement.

“If no corrective action is taken, we will have to begin to make difficult choices about which payments to delay. These delays could create a trickle-down effect on local governments and service providers across the state.”

By RICK KARLIN, Capitol bureau
October 22, 2009

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