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Budget Hero Game,

American Public Media

Budget Hero gives players an opportunity to try to manage the Federal budget by making budget decisions without breaking the bank. Players can choose up to three major issues to focus on, such as  national defense, health and wellness, energy independence, and efficient government. The game provides details about individual issues (such as funding for mass transit and other infrastructure), which can inform players about some of the major policy issues being dicussed right now. The game is aimed at the Federal budget, but some of the policy decisions affect state and local governments.

Virginia’s International Trade,

Virginia Economic Development Partnership

This website is aimed at business leaders, but it offers useful information for anyone interested in Virginia’s economy and the rest of the world. The Fast Facts section is particularly useful, with relevant articles such as “Federal vs. State Trade Policy.” There are also profiles of Virginia’s trade with countries such as China, Mexico, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Japan. Did you know that more than 2,600 U.S. companies have business operations in Mexico? Find out more at this website.

Virginia Economy at a Glance,

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

This website offers current information on what’s happening with Virginia’s economy. Don’t let the numbers intimidate you! These statistics can provide a lot of information about everything from the unemployment rate in Virginia to the economy of education. There is also more detailed information about urban centers in Virginia. Using this website requires a little extra work to see what all the numbers mean, but the information is well worth it.

Teen Business Link,

U.S. Small Business Administration

This government-run website is aimed at helping teens create their own small business. Teen Business Link covers everything from brainstorming ideas for a business to legal problems small business owners might face. Have you ever thought about what kind of business you might like to start? It’s also a step in the direction of understanding what issues small businesses (and even large ones) have to deal with every day.

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.