(STL.News) – Governor Phil Scott has signed onto a bipartisan letter calling on the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Census Bureau to restore the deadline for the 2020 U.S. Census, which has been moved from October 31 to September 30, 2020.
In addition to Governor Scott, the letter was signed by the governors of Oregon, Colorado, Washington, Michigan, Illinois, North Carolina, and New York.
“The Census determines Vermonters’ access to federal funding, and we won’t get another shot until 2030,” said Governor Scott. “It is essential that our federal partners honor the original deadline to ensure a complete and accurate count of every Vermont community. And it is very important for Vermonters to be sure they are counted.”
The letter cites concerns about reaching a 100% response rate by the adjusted deadline, especially in light of new challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. These factors complicate state efforts to reach “Hard to Count” populations, such as children, seniors, those living in rural areas and those with limited internet access.
In November 2019, Governor Scott created the Vermont 2020 Complete Count Committee to identify and develop a plan to overcome barriers to full participation in the 2020 Census. The Committee has coordinated with public and private partners to support operational and outreach strategies to increase Vermonters’ awareness and completion of the Census.