Peoria licensed the tool from a California-based nonprofit organization called Next 10, which focuses on civic education and engagement.
The group first began working on the budgeting tool in 2004 and released it the following year. The initial version focused on the California state budget and evolved out of the group’s other outreach efforts. Sarah Henry, Next 10’s program director, said 12 cities and two school districts have licensed the tool since 2007 and that there are currently four live versions.
Asked what advantages the online application provides compared to other approaches to budget outreach and education, Henry pointed to the number of people it had helped Next 10 reach, saying that over the years about 500,000 people had used the tool in California.
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