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As Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and legislators debate how to close the state's whopping budget deficit, an organization called Next10 is giving Californians a chance to play budget-writer themselves with an updated version of its "California Budget Challenge."

Next10 says its update contains the latest figures on income and outgo now before a two-house budget conference committee, which is conducting a page-by-page perusal preparatory to making decisions, probably beginning next week.

The Next10 website lets the public examine the options on revenues and expenditures and choose which they would place in a final budget. The Budget Challenge debuted in 2005. Since then, Next10 says, more than 175,000 people have filled in the blanks. Participants may forward their final version to their legislator.

Click here to access the Budget Challenge.


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