Here's more coverage from the Concord Monitor's Meg Heckman.
The vote went 10-14 down party lines, with Republicans temporarily stalling the tax increase. Temporarily, because the increase is still in the budget proposal that they will vote on soon. Also, if the articles linked to above are any indication, the Senators can't seem to think of any other way to raise the necessary revenue. This should inspire a lot of confidence:
"Someone tell me please how we're going to balance the budget if we don't raise the cigarette tax?," said Sen. Dick Green, a Rochester Republican. "I don't want to vote for the cigarette tax. Someone please give me another way."Man, you can almost smell the perspiration coming out of the Senate cloak room up in Concord. Legislating can be hard work, but the good people of Rochester probably thought Mr. Green was up to the task of, you know, figuring out the answers to questions like these before he voted on them.