Advocates fear consequences of underfunded program could be dire

By Will Costello, Santa Fe Reporter
April 2, 2019

The US Census, a monumental program that only occurs once every 10 years and provides the basis for huge sums of money being apportioned to public programs, is set to commence in 2020. Yet, advocacy groups worry that there isn’t enough money to complete an accurate count, which could cause major problems for governments of all sizes across the nation.

The nonprofit New Mexico Voices For Children recently issued a news release that cites an estimate that the feds will have as much as a $1 billion shortfall to pay for the count, along with the dire prediction that “Trump’s underfunding … is likely to hurt NM.”

Former Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs Robert Shapiro wrote in 2017 that the problem really began when Congress decreased funding for the program as far back as 2014, to the frustration of Census officials.

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