- Editor’s Note: This article is part of an ongoing series that looks at 2020 Census efforts in Kane County and the state of Illinois.
The state of Illinois will spend $29 million to make sure it gets the best possible count in the 2020 census.
According to a state of Illinois news release, the $29 million is aimed at “cementing the state’s comprehensive effort to ensure an accurate count in all communities across Illinois.”
“That’s by far the largest per-person investment made in any state in the nation,” said Gov. JB Pritzker. “These resources will go directly to outreach and education, with grants to community organizations across the state engaged in this work, particularly in our hard-to-count communities.”
Kane County and the city of Aurora also have established local committees to ensure the best possible county in the 2020 Census.
The state of Illinois executive order will also establish a Census Office within the Department of Human Services to lead the effort and a Census Advisory Panel to guide its work.
State officials say a Census undercount could threaten Illinois’ representation in Congress and its share of federal funding.
Executive Order 19-10 establishes a new Census Office within the Illinois Department of Human Services and a bipartisan, bicameral Census Advisory Panel to guide its work.
The Census Office will administer grant funding and conduct outreach and education to ensure an accurate and complete count. Led by two co-coordinators, the office will use the full force of all state agencies and departments to complete its work.
The Department of Human Services will file public reports online on a monthly basis to detail its budget, expenditures and distributions of funds to organizations throughout Illinois.
The Census Advisory Panel is made up of 12 members appointed by the governor and legislative leaders and will focus its efforts on “hard to count” communities.
Specifically, it will advise the Census Office on drafting and ensuring a wide distribution of the Notice of Funding Opportunity, coordinating with the Illinois Complete Count Commission and ensuring all communities receive communications during the 2020 Census.
The executive order follows a record $29 million investment for census implementation, the largest per-person allocation made in any state in the nation. It was appropriated in the Fiscal Year 2020 budget, which was signed into law on June 5, 2019.
Members of the Census Advisory Panel include:
- Deborah Bennet, Program Manager at Polk Bros. Foundation
- Rep. Elizabeth Hernandez
- Former Rep. Mike Fortner
- Sen. Kimberly Lightford
- Rep. Theresa Mah
- Sen. Iris Martinez
- Sen. Andy Manar
- Sen. Dan McConchie
- Maria Pesqueira, President of Healthy Communities Foundation
- Rep. Ryan Spain
- Rep. Andre Thapedi
- Sen. Jil Tracy
SOURCE: state of Illinois news release