Pulling for Improved FY24 Census Funding Outlook
With a potential government shutdown looming and major design decisions for the 2030 decennial census almost upon us, the Insights Association joined more than ninety groups urging higher funding for the Census Bureau in Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24).
Since accurate data from the decennial and American Community Survey (ACS) underpin the reliability of statistical sampling for the insights industry, IA and other Census Project stakeholders requested from Congress, “the highest possible level of funding” from the FY24 “Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) appropriations bill” for the decennial census and the ACS.
“Funding levels for the Census Bureau in the House and Senate CJS bills, $1.354 and $1.501 billion, respectively, fall short of what the President requested, and the level” IA supported in the previous coalition letter we signed. “Given the current state of play, however,” our letter urged, Congress should “provide the Census Bureau with no less than the amount recommended by the Senate Appropriations Committee in the final version of the FY 2024 CJS bill.”
We particularly highlighted funding necessities “already a third of the way into” the decennial census lifecycle: “In FY 2024, the Bureau will choose a design and release an initial operational plan for the 2030 Census—decisions that will affect every facet of the next decennial. Sound investments now will help to ensure the future success and cost efficiency of the 2030 Census by reducing the risk of requiring unplanned, additional funding in the peak planning years later in the decade. In addition, increased funding will enable the Bureau to pursue a thoughtful research agenda to ensure the 2030 Census is inclusive and accurate.”
At this point, the CJS bill will presumably only be considered as part of an “omnibus” mashup of federal funding legislation, but even that timeline is unclear. The end of the fiscal year hits on September 30, by which time Congress must agree upon a continuing resolution to fund the government or there will be at least a partial federal government shutdown.
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