NEW ORLEANS (WAFB) - You're mayor for a day. How would you spend the city's tax dollars? An economic development organization has put up a website that allows visitors to attempt to balance the state budget.
Developed by Greater New Orleans, Inc., the regional economic development organization that serves southeastern Louisiana, LaBudgetGame.org gives visitors a chance to create their own state budget that funds priorities they care about, and reduces or eliminates ones they don't.
Louisiana's constitution requires that the legislature pass a balanced budget each year, but it's not as easy as it sounds. Visitors to their website will be producing a budget under the same constraints legislators will face during the legislative session that runs from April to June. If you try to tax businesses too much or cut education too low, for example, the website rejects your input and forces you to choose a new parameter that satisfies all legislative and constitutional dedications.
GNO has gathered figures from Louisiana's current revenue projections for the fiscal year of 2018, and the existing operating budget as of November 30, 2016, making the numbers in the game eerily accurate and equally as difficult.
Businesses, citizens, and youth react to every decision you make. You can only successfully balance the budget by ensuring their happiness and closing the shortfall. If you manage to do so within the 14-minute time limit, results can be emailed to you or even a legislator. However, if you need more time, you can choose to call a 4-minute "special session."