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NM pushes census participation to safeguard funding

SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico is pushing forward with a multimillion-dollar effort to encourage participation in the U.S. census to preserve federal funding for schools, health care and various public benefits.

The state launched its “I Count New Mexico” website — icountnm.gov — Friday that includes a video message from Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham encouraging residents to participate in the national population count next year.

The state is offering $2.4 million in grant money to county governments that can encourage traditionally undercounted communities to participate in the first census with online access.

The state website estimates New Mexico would lose about $3,750 in annual federal spending for each person that goes uncounted. The state estimates that a 1% undercount would reduce annual federal Medicaid spending by $32 million and undercut health care services.

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