Commons Lab, Woodrow Wilson Center, October 2012
In the midst of California’s severe budget crisis, essential services faced deep cuts, school years were shortened, and public discontent with the budget process was at an all-time high. Against pressure to make similar, sweeping budget cuts and risk public backlash, the city of San Jose took a novel approach: They gave their citizens control of the reins to help them understand what it meant to run a city. San Jose partnered with nonprofit software company Every Voice Engaged to create a budget simulator game, which groups of citizens would play to express their preferences to the government. While games have often been used by decision-makers to simulate difficult problems and identify an effective solution, the city of San Jose knew that by putting its citizens in the policymakers’ shoes, they could build an appreciation for the tradeoffs that go into designing a budget. This exercise proved highly successful, and elicited levels of civic engagement at the local level that the city of San Jose will continue to leverage for future projects.
For the full text of this interview, please visit the Commons Lab Blog.
Administration Looks Ahead to FY 2012 Budget Release
by Richard Jones, FYI: The AIP Bulletin of Science Policy News, Number 10, Feb 1, 2011
Yesterday the White House announced that the Administration will send its FY 2012 budget request to Congress on Monday, February 14. The submission is a week later than usual because the confirmation of the new director of the Office of Management and Budget was delayed. The development of the budget request was undoubtedly made more difficult because Congress has not passed any of the FY 2011 appropriations bills. Making it even more complicated is the effort being made by House Republicans to reduce FY 2011 spending to FY 2008 levels. President Obama recommended in his State of the Union that non-security spending be frozen for five years except for defense, homeland security, and veterans’ programs. Importantly, he advocated that government spending increase for science and education. Following the speech, the White House released a document providing additional detail about the FY 2012 budget request, selections of which follow…
For full text of the article, visit Administration Looks Ahead to FY 2012 Budget Release.
- State Of The Union: The Fight To Freeze Spending (blogs.forbes.com)