AVERAGE CITIZENS IN DUBLIN, CA. JOIN 3 LEGISLATORS IN TRYING TO SOLVE THE STATE'S BUDGET CRISIS - SIMULATION CHALLENGES CALIFORNIANS
June, 17, 2010
Contact: Nathan Rapp (510)685-2204
Dublin, CA - Senator Loni Hancock (9th District), Senator Mark DeSaulnier, (7th District), and Assemblymember Joan Buchanan (15th District) hosted an interactive budget forum, providing average citizens with an opportunity to learn about California's budget process and to solve the state budget crisis themselves.
Senator Hancock told participants that, "Our state is really hurting and everyone is feeling the pain. We have to stop disinvesting in crucial programs and we need to preserve, protect, and adequately support the public structures that have taken us decades to build."
Using the California Budget Challenge simulation, developed by Next 10, a non-partisan voter education group, participants were presented with different scenarios about the state budget and confronted with the tough choices and tradeoffs faced by legislators today. Participants were guided through a series of funding controversies related to education, health services, transportation, and more. The audience made policy choices with handheld instant response "clickers" which were tracked on a grid.
"This is a great opportunity for our constituents to learn more about the state's budget programs and services we fund, and the real challenges we face in developing a fiscally responsible solution," said Assemblymember Buchanan.
Senator DeSaulnier commented that, "This gives Contra Costa residents the opportunity to work with the numbers and to do the math. The choices between what vital services must be cut is tragic and unfortunate. This event will help make it clear how very few viable options are available in balancing the budget."
Following the interactive "Budget Challenge" activity, legislators and participants discussed the results and addressed key issues in dealing with the state budget and the deficit.