Gov. Steve Sisolak signed an executive order on Monday establishing a 2020 census committee exactly one year out from the decennial count.
The nine-member committee, which will comprise representatives of the executive branch, Legislature and local government, will be tasked with recommending how Nevada should carry out the 2020 census, including ensuring that underrepresented communities are not deterred from participating in the count as a result of a citizenship question the federal government plans to ask. The question is pending review by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Complete Count Committee will be responsible for establishing a census plan with ideas for how to educate and conduct outreach to the community about the census as well as determine the level of funding needed to complete the count. Earlier this year, Sisolak announced he was including $5 million in his budget to help the state carry out census-related activities.
At a signing ceremony for the executive order, Sisolak highlighted the more than $675 billion in federal funding, grants and other support available to states at stake in the census count. He said that just a 1 percent undercount during the 2010 census would have resulted in Nevada losing $17 million for five Health and Human Services grant programs in 2015 alone.
The results of the census are also used to determine how many seats Nevada has in the U.S. House of Representatives — though the state’s chances of securing a fifth seat are slim — and for general redistricting, including redrawing boundaries for congressional and state legislative districts.
“We simply can’t afford to leave any household uncounted,” Sisolak said. “Success depends on the census and a complete and accurate count of every Nevadan depends on community involvement on every level.”
Among its responsibilities, the committee will be responsible for recruiting and hiring a census coordinator responsible for implementing the census plan, overseeing the census budget and collaborating with the state demographer and the U.S. Census Bureau.
The committee will include:
- a representative of the governor’s office
- a member nominated by the governor representing historically undercounted populations
- the lieutenant governor
- Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske or her designee
- Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson or his designee
- Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro or her designee
- a member nominated by the Republican Senate Leader James Settelmeyer and Assembly Leader Jim Wheeler
- a member nominated by the Nevada Association of Counties
- a member nominated by the Nevada League of Cities and Municipalities