Wisconsin’s governor wants to count everyone in the state in next year’s census whether they are in the country legally or not.
Gov. Tony Evers on Monday ordered a new task force, his Complete Count Committee, to lead the effort for the 2020 Census.
“Ensuring a fair and accurate count in the 2020 census is essential to the future of our state, as it determines how more than $600 billion in federal funding will be distributed and how Wisconsin’s next electoral maps will be drawn,” Evers said.
Wisconsin is one of many states to focus-in on a “full” count next year. Many Democratic governors across the country have also declared their intention to count everyone.
In Wisconsin, that means a focus on the population centers in southeast Wisconsin.
“Clearly we want to have a good sign-up here in Milwaukee, and Racine, Kenosha, Beloit, and Green Bay,” Evers said. “But we also have pockets of people out-state who are not participating in the census.”
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said the census will determine how much money Wisconsin will receive from the federal government for everything from Medicaid, to food stamps, to roads, to low-income school funding.
Though, he said Monday, it’s about more than that.
“When we count our people we are saying to the federal government, and to our residents, that ‘You matter’,” Barrett told reporters. “And all of our residents matter to us. That’s why we take it so seriously.”
A particular focus of Evers’ Count Committee will be Wisconsin’s hard-to-count population. The federal government says those are people who may be either children, immigrant and refugee communities, low-income families, renters and those who do not live in traditional housing, people of color, individuals with disabilities, and rural communities.
Evers says there may be 600,000 who fit that description in the state.