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Maryland Budget Map Game

From the site:

Welcome to the Maryland Budget Map Game. You are now the Governor of Maryland. Congratulations!

According to the state constitution, you must prepare a balanced budget for the state. There’s a projected deficit of at least 1.7 billion dollars for fiscal year 2011, which begins July 1, 2010.

Travel to different locations on the main map. Each location represents a policy area (like higher education, revenues, or general government) where you can choose different budget options. Click on an option to select it. Click on it again if you change your mind.

In each location, there are advisors you can consult for more information and factors to consider.

You need to pay attention to this year’s budget balance. Making the “current year balance” a positive number is what you are required to do under the constitution.

You should also pay attention to the long-term balance. This adjusts for all sorts of one-time actions (like transferring funds from reserves or temporary employee furloughs) that affect this year’s budget, but not the underlying sources of ongoing income and ongoing expenditure needs. If you can get the long-term balance to be a positive number, you’ll put the state’s finances on a sustainable path for the future.

Each choice you make will not only affect the budget totals, it will also affect your popularity with ten different interest groups. If you make too many of these groups too unhappy, it might affect your and your party’s political future badly. The interest groups will appear from time to time all by themselves. If you want to visit them, you can go to the click the icon on the main map.

When you are done, check out the summary to see how your budget ended up.

While it appears this is not a stand-alone tool it is being referenced in the Envision Prince George’s project.

Below are two screenshots of the game’s start screen (first image) and world map (second image):

The Maryland Budget Map Game is developed by Daniel Batson and Kitty Hughes of the Maryland Budget and Tax Policy Institute (organization appears to have been discontinued in 2012).

Update: The Maryland Budget Map Game has been discontinued. In order to access the website, view an archived copy.

Additional information

Slice & Dice


A list of projects that have used Maryland Budget Map Game:


Additional information and materials about Maryland Budget Map Game: