NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – It happens every ten years, but the significance of the U.S.Census recently led Governor Bill Lee to create what he calls the Tennessee Complete Count Committee.
While filling out census forms may be an inconvenience to some, getting everyone counted in the country plays a major role in how money is spent by local and state governments.
“Our goal is to make sure everyone is counted fairly, accurately and securely,” says House Republican Leader William Lamberth who is one of more than three dozen government and civic leaders on the committee.
The number of residents in towns and states is key to the coffers of the Tennessee government.
“We are dealing with hundreds of billions of dollars that will be allocated back to states,” added Rep. Lamberth. “Those are our taxpayer dollars that we send to federal government and then most of that is allocated depending on what the census says.”
Those funds help pay for things like the state’s Medicaid program TennCare, help with road projects throughout the state, funding for part of the state’s k-12 education and money for the state’s social programs, but there is a political part to this as well.
“Obviously redistricting and how both our Congressional and House and Senate seats at the state level are allocated as far as where those borders are,” said Lamberth.
A press release earlier this year from the governor’s officers said Tennesseans can expect to start getting the census notices in March of next year.
The 2020 census will mark the first time it has options to respond online or by phone in addition to traditional paper responses.