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DeSantis’s Census Failure Could Cost Floridians

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Ron DeSantis finally announced a Census committee — making Florida one of the last states to do so and without committing any money to the effort, which could have serious consequences on Florida’s Federal funding. The Associated Press reported that the 2020 Census could result in Florida gaining up to two congressional seats.

Terrie Rizzo, chair of the Florida Democratic Party, chastised DeSantis for his lack of action and political motivations:

“Governor Ron DeSantis has dragged his feet on preparing the Sunshine State for the 2020 Census. Now that he has finally heeded calls to create a committee, we learn it isn’t even properly funded.

Florida is the third most populous state in the country, and the Census cannot be done last minute. DeSantis’s procrastination could result in many Floridians not being counted, and that puts at risk federal dollars and additional congressional seats.”

Tampa Bay Times. 1/7/2020. Ron DeSantis: Florida to help census after all. But is it too late?

Key Points:

  • “Months after saying the state would not “have a role” in promoting the 2020 census, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis seemingly reversed himself and announced the state would help after all.”
  • “Counting every living American is a massive effort, and certain populations — especially renters and people of color — risk not getting counted.”
  • “Congressional and state legislative districts, as well as billions in grant funding for things like school lunches, rely on decennial census data, so officials fret about counting as many people as possible.”
  • “However, while some other states have pledged millions of dollars to support their state committees’ efforts, Monday evening’s announcement indicated no state dollars would be used.”
  • “As of December, the New York Times reported that there was a clear partisan gap between states willing to fund campaigns promoting the upcoming census. Democratic-controlled states were.”
  • “Republican-controlled states weren’t. California will spend $187 million, for example, while the Texas Legislature declined any funding.”