Recognizing full well the impact of assuring the most accurate count possible, Michigan U.S. Senator Gary Peters is urging the federal government to assure that full funding to conduct the upcoming 2020 Census is in place before the end of the fiscal year.
Peters who serves as the Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, has dispatched a letter urging the Senate Appropriations Committee to include full funding for the 2020 Census in any government funding bill passed before the end of the fiscal year.
Peters explained to his colleagues that, without its full operating budget of $7.5 billion, the Census could be compromised in its mission of effectively reaching every community to achieve a full and accurate count. Michigan receives nearly $29 billion in federal funds annually, and an inaccurate count could jeopardize those funds for communities across the state. Estimates show the state could lose $1,800 in funding per year for every person not counted.
Peters writes in his letter, “As Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, I am acutely aware that the Census Bureau requires robust, on-time funding to complete crucial operations for the 2020 Census.” He adds, “Because of the constitutional and statutory requirements to conduct the census on schedule, the time-sensitive nature of final census preparations, and the need to ensure the Census Bureau does not face a funding shortfall during the enumeration, the Bureau must receive its full 2020 Census funding by October 1, rather than temporary funding.”
The U.S. Census Bureau relies on sufficient funding to ensure the 2020 Census stays on schedule, uses taxpayer dollars responsibly and gets an accurate count. Any delays to the census as a result of insufficient funding could risk inaccuracies, drive up costs and hinder participation from communities. Michigan is home to more than 800,000 residents who are considered “hard to count,” including some young children, African Americans and students.
As Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Peters has continued to press for adequate funding for the U.S. Census Bureau. Earlier this year, he called for the inclusion of an additional $3.8 billion for census operations in the 2019 government funding bill that passed in February. The bipartisan legislation included a $1 billion increase over the prior year’s funding to ensure greater accuracy of census data for communities in Michigan and across the country as the U.S. Census Bureau prepares to conduct the 2020 Census.
The text of the letter can be seen by clicking the link below: