State lawmakers hold final hearing on preparations for 2020 Census

State News

SACRAMENTO (KGET) – State lawmakers grilled California census officials at a hearing on Tuesday at the State Capitol.

A joint committee of state lawmakers held a hearing as essentially the final countdown to the 2020 Census.

State lawmakers dove into the state’s $187.2-million Census outreach plan.

California is spending six times more than any other state to make sure it gets its fair share of federal funding and legislative districts.

Lawmakers pressing state census officials to provide what specific outreach numbers and efforts are underway with the census now three weeks out, the panelists couldn’t give specifics Tuesday.

“We started out very early on this I just don’t know why we don’t have a better sense of where we’re at,” State Senator Elena Durazo, D-Los Angeles, said.

Census officials say the hardest to count may need to be contacted up to twelve times, but some lawmakers concerned their districts have yet to be touched.

“I live in a hard to count community and I gotta say I haven’t seen anything. I’ve been touched six times by the Bernie Sanders campaign but not once by the Census,” Assemblywoman Lorena González, D-San Diego, said. 

State census officials say the money is being dispersed across counties on community organizations to help with outreach, along with media ads. 

Census officials promised to soon follow up with specific plans and numbers.

State lawmakers are also bracing themselves for the first digital census. 

California is using a data tool called SwORD, which officials say will help track the hard to count.

“We’re confident that we’re providing the appropriate level of technical assistance and have the resources in place to meet any challenges,” Sarah Soto-Taylor, Deputy Secretary for CA Census, said.

State officials say they’ll start mailing invitations to fill out the form online on March 12.

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