Capitol Notes

State funding for census outreach begins to flow

The long-awaited state investment in local outreach to promote participation in the census process is starting, according to Empire State Development.

Counties and cities can expect to receive about half of the $20 million allocated in last year’s budget, with $3.4 million immediately being distributed to 15 “populated” municipalities with the lowest response rates compared to the rest of the state. Other counties and cities will receive $4.1 million on Monday and then $2.5 million will supplement the localities with the worst participation, according to ESD.

“Getting every New Yorker counted in the 2020 Census is a priority for this administration, which is why even during the pandemic and the 14 percent loss in State revenue it is driving, state agencies have been marshaling and deploying available resources to raise awareness,” said ESD spokeswoman Kristin Devoe.

The full list of recipients for the first round of funding is available below.

New York’s participation in the census is about 4.4 percentage points behind the national average.

The announcement comes at the same time NPR is reporting the White House wants to wrap up the census process earlier than planned. Due to the challenges presented by the pandemic, the deadline for conducting in-person interviews had been extended to Oct. 31, but officials in President Donald Trump’s administration want to move the deadline up a month.

New York Law School Adjunct Professor Jeff Wice said the latest actions by the Trump administration make teh state’s investment even more important.

“We are at a very critical and unprecedented time,” Wice said. “Counties and localities will get a needed boost with state funding.”

The state was scheduled to announce the distribution of $15 million in state funds on March 10, but the arrival of COVID-19 in New York disrupted those plans.

Counties:

  1. Albany
  2. Bronx
  3. Chautauqua
  4. Jefferson
  5. Kings
  6. New York
  7. Orange
  8. Queens
  9. Richmond
  10. Suffolk
  11. Ulster

Cities:

  1. Buffalo
  2. Rochester
  3. Syracuse
  4. Yonkers

 

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