April 2018 Census Project Update

Budget News

About 150 Census Project stakeholders co-signed a letter to Congressional policymakers urging them to add more funding to the Trump administration’s FY2019 requests for the 2020 Census.

“We respectfully recommend that the committee allocate $4.735 billion for the Census Bureau in FY2019 —$933.50 million above the Administration’s request for the agency, and $912.5 million above the request of $3.015 billion for the 2020 Census,” the letter said.

Describing FY2019 as “a critical year on the path toward the decennial census” the co-signature letter said the FY2019 ramp-up must include additional funding for more partnership specialists to encourage participation by hard-to-count communities, increased advertising/communications funds, additional local census offices and questionnaire assistance centers. The Census Project letter also called for a $300 million contingency fund “in the event of IT failures or natural disasters, including hurricanes and wildfires.”

Included in the administration original request is funding in FY2019 for:

  • completing all address canvassing operations;
  • opening Area Census Offices across the country;
  • finalizing IT systems readiness and security;
  • recruiting and hiring approximately 76,000 personnel for “in field” address canvassing this Summer/Fall;
  • launching the first phase of the communications campaign and making initial advertising buys; and
  • developing the Census 2020 website.

Congressional action on the FY2019 is expected to begin in May.

News You Can Use

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a hearing on May 8 on the citizenship question and other census issues.

Also, more than 300 organizations co-signed a letter directed to Congressional policymakers, coordinated by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the Service Employees International Union, opposing the citizenship question and calling for Congressional oversight hearings.

Finally, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has sent Commerce Secretary Ross a letter opposing the administration’s proposed inclusion of a citizenship question on the next decennial census form.