Citizens can play 'State Budget Game' now

Posted at 10:45 a.m. on May 19, 2021

The Brillion News

MADISON - There's a new game in town and it lets you craft your own version of the State of Wisconsin's 2021-2023 budget.

Talk about having power!


The Institute for Reforming Government (IRG) came up with the State Budget Dashboard game, giving the public the ability to craft their own two-year state budget and weigh in on Governort Tony Evers' own proposed spending plan.

The new interactive website that allows the general public to build their own state budget. The first-of-itskind dashboard in Wisconsin gives people an insight into the world of a state lawmaker by allowing the public to:

1. Start with the surplus that Governor Evers' inherited.

2. Determine spending levels for critical items like K-12, healthcare, higher education, and state agencies.

3. Raise taxes or cut them.

4. Decide to adopt Governor Evers' budget revenue and spending priorities or create something new.

"This new tool allows all Wisconsin residents to gain a greater understanding of our state’s budget - experienced legislative stakeholders to members of the public who want to be more informed about how their tax dollars are being spent,” said CJ Szafir, president of IRG. "As the dashboard shows, Governor Evers' spending priorities quickly spends down the surplus while simultaneously trying to enact over $1 billion in tax increases. As Wisconsin families and businesses strive to emerge from the pandemic, it is more critical now than ever that our leaders craft a responsible budget that funds the priorities Wisconsinites expect from their government, without hiking costs for our state’s taxpayers."

IRG’s new budget simulator is powered by Balancing Act, a platform for easy-to-use online budget simulation that engages stakeholders to help leaders make tough choices. It uses all data from the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau and Governor Evers’ proposed budget. Folks can access the Budget Dashboard and experiment with IRG’s interactive simulation here. It will be updated in the coming weeks to reflect the Joint Finance Committee’s budget.