Secretary of State Ross Miller's Office to Promote Benefits of Complete 2010 Census Count
Interim Finance Committee Approves Funding
(Carson City, NV; September 17, 2009) – Secretary of State Ross Miller today told the Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee that the state must invest in encouraging Nevadans to participate in the 2010 Census count or risk losing tens of millions of dollars in federal funds.
Secretary Miller said the state will forfeit $917 in federal funding for every person who is not counted, money Nevada cannot afford to lose to other states that more accurately count their citizens.
“There is too much at stake,” Secretary Miller said after the hearing. “My office will work closely with the Census Bureau and local Complete Count Committees to invest this money so the state gets the highest rate of return.”
In 1990, Nevada had the 5th worst response rate in the country, resulting in a significant undercount. In 2000, as a result of a new statewide outreach plan, Nevada led all other states in improving its response rate.
“We want Nevadans to know that it’s in their best interests to respond promptly and accurately when they’re asked to be counted,” Secretary Milled added. “We’re not doing this for the federal government or just to conduct a bureaucratic exercise. We’re doing it so Nevadans get their fair share of federal funds for schools, highways, and other valuable services.”
The Interim Finance Committee approved just over $960,000 for the 2010 Census outreach campaign. The funding comes from a one-time settlement received by the Secretary of State for securities violations. It’s roughly the same amount the state spent in the 2000 Census, adjusted for inflation. Secretary Miller said his goal is to equal or better the response rate in 2000, when fewer than 1.7% of the Nevadans were missed in the count.