SPRINGFIELD -- Tired of paying more state taxes and hearing only about overdue bills and a pension crisis?
Now you can do more than cry, "Throw the bums out!"
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Two Chicago think tanks and Crain's Chicago Business have developed an interactive online "Illinois Budget Calculator." It puts the budget's general fund -- half of the state's total spending -- in your virtual hands.
The budgeting exercise lets anyone weigh priorities using real-world dollar amounts which match the current fiscal year's budget and appropriations.
Users may review proposals, make policy choices and decide which programs -- education, human services, health care or public safety -- should get more or less money.
Co-developers are the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability and the Institute for Work and the Economy.