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What is the Real Cost of Buying a House and Car?,

Linda Long

Tax rates differ for citizens in Virginia, depending on where one lives. In addition, a local government may choose to spend collected tax money differently than another local government in the Commonwealth. In this activity, students simulate the…

Virginia’s Role in the Global Economy ,

Joe LaRocco

Virginia has a rich history in trading goods with other countries. Because the global economy is a great deal more competitive than it was in Virginia’s early colonial history, Virginia’s governors, legislators, and business leaders have…

The Supreme Court of Virginia: A Moot Court,

Cliff Gold

Individual liberties and public interest are at stake in two Virginia court cases engaged in this moot court: Rudolph v. Commonwealth (2009) and Cost v. Commonwealth (2008). Students will think about and analyze the decisions of the Virginia Court of…

How Should the Government Respond to Obesity?,

Tanya Wanchek

Exploring different government policies on obesity, a well-recognized public health problem in the Commonwealth and in states across the country, encourages one to think through the advantages and disadvantages of public policy.  Furthermore, it…

Why Does Global Health Matter to Virginia?,

In today's increasingly globalized world, what happens in India or China can affect trade or travel in Virginia. What are some ways that you interact with the rest of the world on a day-to-day basis? Where do your food and clothes come from? What is…

Secretary of Finance,

Secretary of Finance

This website outlines the way the Secretary of Finance implements Virginia’s budget, in cooperation with the Governor, legislature, and other departments. One important aspect of the website is Agency Information, which shows how the Secretary of Finance connects with other financial departments. A News section offers press releasees about the Governor’s financial policies. While brief, the Secretary of Finance website shows the interconnectedness of government offices.

Where Does My Money Go?,

Auditor of Public Accounts

This website is a user-friendly database of information about the state budget, as well as demographic information about different localities. On the main page, a pie chart provides a breakdown of the top ten appropriations in 2007. Users can search for information about how much local governments received in appropriations, how many driver’s licenses were issued in each locality, and comparisons between budgets for different localities. Each data set is available in excel format, in case users want to create their own graphs or another analysis of it. This website is extremely easy to navigate, and offers a wealth of information about Virginia’s budget.

VRA to Invest More Than $200 Million in Local Projects Statewide ,

Rod Davis and Liz Bryant

The Virginia Resources Authority (VRA) is a state organization that helps fund local government projects, such as infrastructure, public health and safety projects, and public schools. This document describes the VRA and some projects it has funded.…

Congress.org,

Roll Call, Capitol Advantage

Congress.org offers headlines of current bills in the US Congress, as well as a public forum for constituents to discuss those issues. Users can search many features of the website by state. One interesting feature is a list of letters from Virginia constituents to elected officials submitted through Congress.org. Another is contact information for local officials in Virginia. This website is a gateway to find out what’s happening in government, find out what other people are saying about it, and send your own message to the people who represent you in government.