Take Action: Secure State Funding for the 2020 Census

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Leaders in Saint Paul are in the final stages of the process to craft a state budget.  This includes deciding what to spend to prepare Minnesota for the 2020 Census. 

There are four numbers to pay attention to: #1 - $2.5M - This is how much the Minnesota Census Mobilization Partnership requested in HF/SF.  #2 - $2M - This is how much the House approved for census funding.  #3 - $1.6M - This is how much Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan proposed in their budget this past February.  #4 - Zero - This is what's in the Senate's budget plan.  Obviously, we think the budget should support the full $2.5M plan.  However, at the very least, they should appropriate the $2M recommended by the Minnesota House.  This will allow us to substantially achieve the outcomes proposed in the $2.5M plan.  Anything less would substantially reduce our ability to get the job done in Minnesota.

We need you to make three phone calls.

Call #1 - Contact Majority Leader Gazelka and Chair Kiffmeyer to let them know Minnesota needs to invest in a full census count, that the census is not partisan and is important to the entire state, and that the census is not about elections and should not be pulled into partisan, election-reform politics.  It's important to act now . . . right now.   Leadership in the Minnesota Senate is blocking funding  to prepare Minnesota for the 2020 Census.  They view census funding as part of a package of elections-related policies and funding which they oppose because they do not reflect bipartisan agreement.  The census is not about election administration.  The census is not partisan. 

Call #2 Contact the Governor to say thanks for the great leadership, but we are going to need you to at least match the $2M in funding proposed by the Minnesota House leadership. Phone calls and emails are both good. Governor Walz and the Lt. Governor and the folks at the State Department of Administration have been great champions for the census.  No doubt. They led the pack by proposing funding for the 2020 Census in their budget. That really opened the door for legislative support. But, now we need them to do more. Read about their support and get inspired.

Call #3 - Contact Rep. Mike Nelson to say thanks for making the census a priority and for the leadership he provided to include a $2M appropriation in the House state government finance bill. But, we cannot go lower on this number without significantly reducing our ability to count all Minnesotans, and especially those in historically undercounted communities. There is no "do over" on the census; it's appropriate the money now or lose the opportunity. Read about how the House got at the $2M appropriation level.

Talking point sheets describing the appropriation request and the impact of the census in Minnesota are presented below.

If you are feeling ambitious and have the time, feel free to make a call or send an email to each of the members of the State Government Finance Omnibus Bill Conference Committee and to track the committee's work.

House Conferees:  Chair Mike Nelson, Reps. Ray Dehn, Mike Freiberg, Rob Eckland, and Debra Kiel

Senate Conferees:  Chair Mary Kiffmeyer, Sens. Bruce Anderson, Mark Koran, Andrew Mathews, and Jim Carlson

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