The amount totals $5-million.
Baltimore, Md (KM). The Maryland Department of Planning is making $5-million in grants available to local governments and non-profit organizations to help with the 2020 Census. Spokesman Dave Buck says the money will be used to ensure an fair, accurate and inclusive count for Maryland, and increase the response to hard-to-count communities and populations.
“As with any census–it happens every ten years–there are hard to count areas, areas where we need the help of locals to be able to get down and make sure that the information is being shared and we count every person,” says Buck. ” Because it’s critical to really be able to have an accurate count of Maryland residents.”
So much depends on an accurate count, including representation in the US House of Representatives, and whether Congressional districts need to be redraw to reflect population changes. Buck says an accurate count is also important when it comes to obtaining federal funding for highway construction, Medicare, and public health and disaster preparedness funding. He says about $13-billion is at stake. “The more accurate count of every person in every community goes a really long way to things people don’t think about, supplemental assistance for lunch programs,” he says. “So many things that the Census funding and accurate count enables us to do in Maryland.”
Not having accurate count could be disastrous, says Buck. “You lose money. For every person that doesn’t reply or we don’t get to with the Census, it’s literally tens of thousands of dollars of lost money that would go to Maryland over many, many programs.”
Buck says it’s important for all citizens to answer the Census. He notes the fears from some people have that the Census is too intrusive. “It’s a just a handful of questions. Everything is private,” he says.The funding for this program comes form legislation passed by the Maryland General Assembly in 2018.
Local governments and non-profits that want to apply for these funds need to go on line to planning.maryland.gov/MSDC/Pages/census/census-grant-2020.aspx. The deadline to apply is March 1st.. Decisions on the grants requests are expected to be made by April 1st.
The funding will be allocated after July 1st, the start of fiscal year 2020. The amounts will range from $25,000 to $250,000.
The funding for this program comes from legislation passed by the Maryland General Assembly in 2018.
By Kevin McManus