SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico state officials want to spend an additional $8 million to ensure residents are not left out of the 2020 Census.
Population-studies expert Robert Rhatigan of the University of New Mexico told a panel of lawmakers Tuesday that state finance and workforce officials still fear an undercount that could reduce federal spending in New Mexico by hundreds of millions of dollars.
Lawmakers this year set aside $3.4 million to help counties, public schools and Native American communities encourage participation in the federal population survey. An additional $8 million is now being sought for the effort by the administration of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.
Remote desert communities and gaps in communications infrastructure make New Mexico one of the hardest states to accurately survey for population changes.