Final FY 2023 Census Funding Legislation on Path to Approval

An omnibus Fiscal Year 2023 (FY 2023) appropriations bill was introduced overnight, including funding for the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Commerce Justice Science Appropriations part of the legislation provides $1.485 billion for the Census Bureau, including $330 million for the Current Surveys and Programs account and $1.155 billion for the Periodic Censuses and Programs account.

The $1.485 billion in the FY 2023 omnibus for the Census Bureau is a $131 million increase over FY 2022, but $20.47 million less than the Administration’s budget request.

While census stakeholders urged no less than $1.505 billion in FY 2023 — an amount requested by the White House, approved by the House Appropriations Committee, supported by a stakeholder sign-on letter on September 8 and reiterated by the Census Project on November 15 — Congress is now on track to provide only the amount proposed in July by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The House and Senate will likely pass the omnibus bill and send it to the President for signature by Friday, December 23, 2022.

The CJS report also includes language of interest to census stakeholders, including:

  • “For fiscal year 2023, the Census Bureau is directed to continue following the directives and reporting requirements in the joint explanatory statement accompanying Public Law 116-260 on “Ensuring the Integrity and Security of Surveys and Data,” “Utilizing Libraries and Community Partners for Census Surveys,” and “American Community Survey.” “
  • “Disclosure Avoidance.- The agreement directs the Census Bureau to work closely with its advisory committees, stakeholders representing public interests, and the data user community to ensure the availability of useful data products, especially for population groups in rural and remote areas, while protecting the confidentiality of personal data. The Census Bureau shall continue to consult regularly with data users on disclosure avoidance methods under consideration for all data products and programs.”
  • “Race and Ethnicity Data Accuracy.-The Census Bureau is directed to provide a report to the Committees, no later than 180 days after enactment of this act, on its plan for implementing updated race and ethnicity questions for its surveys, including the American Community Survey and the 2030 Decennial Census, and whether the Census Bureau believes that additional testing is necessary.”
  • “Ask U.S. Panel Survey.-The Census Bureau is directed to provide a report to the Committees, no later than 90 days following enactment of this act, on the Ask U.S. Panel Survey‘s methodology, data collection processes, implementation, incurred and projected costs, procurement strategy, and plans to address any recommendations made by the Inspector General.”

See the full bill text (page 134) and CJS report language (pages 8 and 124).

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