HB19-1239 (Tipper & Caravao) Census Outreach Grant Program

Originally Posted: March 29, 2019
Last Updated: April 19, 2019

Summary

This bill would create the Census Outreach Grant Program to support the accurate count of Colorado’s population for the 2020 Census. Recipients of funds through the grant program may use the funds to conduct 2020 Census outreach, promotion, and education to focus on hard-to-count communities in the state and to increase the self-response rate and accuracy of the 2020 Census in Colorado.

Position

The Children’s Campaign strongly supports this bill. Conducted only once every 10 years, the decennial census to determine Colorado’s population is vitally important, and the state must invest in outreach to ensure that Coloradans are accurately counted in 2020. The census is a critical source of data for everyone from state policymakers and school district planners to hospitals and business leaders, but perhaps most important is its role in determining how much federal funding will flow into Colorado over the subsequent decade. In fiscal year 2016 alone, Colorado received more than $13 billion from federal programs that allocate their funding based on census population counts. With billions of dollars on the line, undercounting Coloradans in the 2020 Census by even a small fraction could cost our state hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding—funding that could have flowed to our state but instead will be directed to other states and localities across the country. And because the census is conducted only once every 10 years, an inaccurate count of Coloradans would have far-reaching impacts on this funding for the next decade. Young children under 5 are the age group most likely to be missed by the census, putting programs that serve this population at risk of losing funding for a decade and skewing important data that help us understand the trends affecting Colorado kids.

Current Status

Passed the House on a vote of 41-23 and now heads to the Senate, where it is scheduled to be heard in the Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee on Mon. Apr., 22 at 1:30pm in Room 357.

Previous Status


March 29, 2019

Passed the House State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee as amended on a bipartisan vote of 7-2 and now heads to the House Appropriations Committee. Sarah Hughes, our VP of Research Initiatives, testified in strong support of the bill.