Census Stakeholders Support Passage of 5th FY2018 Continuing Resolution Despite Modest Increase in Census Bureau Funding

For Release
February 8, 2018

WASHINGTON– Representatives of a coalition of 98 business, civic, and academic groups who support a full, fair and accurate 2020 decennial census, today announced their support for a bipartisan Senate- sponsored version of the FY2018 Continuing Resolution which includes a funding anomaly of $182 million over FY 2017 funding for the U.S. Census Bureau. Even though that figure falls short of the Administration’s revised FY 2018 funding request of +$187 million over the President’s original budget, and well short of the amount needed to fully fund critical outreach, promotion, and partnership activities, the Census Project supports the bill as an important step towards full funding for the 2020 count.

Stakeholders in the Census Project coalition had earlier communicated to Congress their support for a final FY2018 funding level of $1.848 billion for the Bureau, which includes an additional $140 million for 2020 Census preparations, over and above the Administration’s updated request.

“We commend Congress for recognizing that the Census Bureau must have a funding ramp-up to keep critical, comprehensive 2020 Census preparations moving forward,” said Phil Sparks of the Census Project

“We urge lawmakers to support the funding level in the Senate version of stopgap funding measure to avoid any government shutdown or delays in planning for 2020 that would disrupt work on the full range of activities necessary to address growing enumeration challenges in rural, low-income, minority, and immigrant communities,” Sparks added.

The Census Project continues to be concerned about planning delays and funding issues with respect to the important Integrated Communications Program (ICP) that is vital to gaining the fullest possible public cooperation with the national head count.

“2020 Census clock is ticking. The Census Bureau cannot pause preparations and achieve high quality, so any final 2018 budget bill must include the additional funds for the advertising and partnership efforts vital to a successful 2020 Census,” Sparks said.

“Decennial census data are central to our democracy, affecting not only apportionment and redistricting, but also the distribution of approximately $600 billion in federal assistance to states and localities each year,” said Phil Sparks of the Census Project.