For those interested in the budget process, an online resource has just been introduced from Next Ten, an independent, nonpartisan organization that educates Californians in fiscal policy issues.

From the website:

"Take the Budget Challenge, a nonpartisan Internet tool that lets you roll up your sleeves and create your own state budget. You call the shots on how much to spend on schools, the environment, healthcare, prisons and other state programs – and how to pay for them.

The 2007 updated California Budget Challenge offers:

  • 16 policy options, including such topical choices as whether to levy a carbon tax, restructure Prop 13, provide universal healthcare, or cut income taxes.
  • A “Take Action” button that provides constituents with a mechanism to tell their legislators and the governor the budget choices they would make.
  • A “Prop 98” button that explains the impact of this proposition on spending and revenue choices.
  • An instant popularity feedback feature that shows users how others have voted on each policy choice.

The Budget Challenge provides an annual examination of the state’s most pressing budget policy options. It challenges users to set priorities for the state’s future by creating a budget that reflects their values and vision."

Unfortunately, the site does not have options to address rape crisis center funding or victim services funding broadly, but does a good job of allowing users to grapple with some of the questions faced by legislators as they develop the state budget.

Feeling up to the challenge? Give it a shot here.