Today @ Colorado State has been replaced by SOURCE. This site exists as an archive of Today @ Colorado State stories between January 1, 2009 and September 8, 2014.

Economy

Backseat Budgeter makes state budget interactive

October 8, 2013

Engaged Public, in collaboration with Colorado Futures Center at Colorado State University, announced the newest version of Backseat Budgeter on Monday. The online tool displays the 2013-14 Colorado general fund budget and highlights the impact of two important issues on the November ballot: Amendment 66 (school finance reform) and Proposition AA (marijuana taxation).

Engaged Public®, a Denver-based public policy strategy firm, today announced a new release of the Colorado Backseat Budgeter®, an easy-to-use interactive online budget simulation tool that educates citizens on the tradeoffs involved in budgeting public dollars. Launched in partnership with the Colorado Futures Center at Colorado State University, the online tool displays the 2013-14 Colorado general fund budget and highlights the impact of two important issues on the November ballot: Amendment 66 (school finance reform) and Proposition AA (marijuana taxation).

“If you live in Colorado and care about how public dollars are generated and spent, the Colorado Backseat Budgeter is worth exploring so you can be an educated voter and citizen,” said Brenda Morrison, partner at Engaged Public. “The Backseat Budgeter breaks down the complexities of the state budget and upcoming ballot issues into a user-friendly tool that feels like an online game. It really helps demonstrate the tough choices facing our state.”

Backseat Budgeter tool gives control to citizens

To use the public engagement tool, Coloradans can go online to Backseat Budgeter and select under “Featured Budgets” the 2013-14 Colorado budget, set their own priorities, save their budget, view others’ budgets, and discuss ideas through online posts.

In addition to helping voters better understand the impact of upcoming ballot initiatives and gain a better understanding of the Colorado general fund budget, the new version of Backseat Budgeter also includes a section that considers the costs of the state’s disaster response to fire and flood damage, as well as a robust healthcare section that helps users examine the costs associated with Medicaid expansion.

“It’s easy to get lost in the data and complexities when studying ballot initiatives, the state budget and the cost of public policy initiatives,” said Phyllis Resnick, lead economist at the Colorado Futures Center at Colorado State University. “The Backseat Budgeter helps put these initiatives in the context of the larger challenges facing our state so citizens can get involved and make their opinions known to elected officials.”

Through interactive pie charts, users of the Colorado Backseat Budgeter can shift revenue and spending streams and make tough choices. The ultimate task is to balance their version of the budget without violating laws along the way.


Contact: Tiana Nelson
E-mail: christiana.nelson@colostate.edu
Phone: 303-376-2613