Daily News columnist Bill Hammond says that the Empire Center’s new Blueprint for a Better Budget, which proposes $30 billion in savings over three years, should be “required reading for Gov. Paterson and all 212 members of the Legislature,” and that “the pols could do a lot worse than following this blueprint to the letter.”

The report notes that Albany could save $8.5 billion over its targeted time period — nearly 30 percent of the total — by cutting the state’s school aid payments to localities by 7.5 percent now and then capping growth for two years.

This particular item has already won cries for mercy from the state teachers’ union. But E.J. McMahon, the report’s co-author, notes in an op-ed today that the cut would still leave school aid at 14 percent above its bubble-peak 2006-2007 level.

Read the report here.

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The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.

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