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Census Outreach Grant Program

Concerning the promotion of an accurate count in the decennial census by creating a census outreach program, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.
2019 Regular Session
State Government
Bill Summary

In the division of local government (division) the bill creates the 2020 census outreach grant program (grant program) in the department of local affairs (department) to provide grants to local governments, intergovernmental agencies, councils of government, housing authorities, school districts, and nonprofit organizations (eligible recipients) to support the accurate counting of the population of the state for the 2020 census.

The department, in coordination with the grant program committee (committee), which is also created in the division, is required to implement and administer the grant program and to develop policies and procedures necessary for such implementation and administration.

The committee is created in the division to make recommendations to the department regarding the policies and procedures to review grant applications and to make recommendations to the department regarding which applications to approve for the grant award. The committee consists of 7 members, 3 of whom are appointed by the governor and 4 of whom are appointed, one each, by the speaker of the house of representatives, the president of the senate, and the minority leaders of the house of representatives and the senate, although such appointees may not be members of the general assembly.

The bill specifies that eligible recipients may use grant money to conduct 2020 census outreach, promotion, and education to focus on hard-to-count communities in the state and to increase the self-response rate and accuracy of the 2020 census. Eligible recipients may also use grant money to further award grants to other local governments, intergovernmental agencies, councils of government, housing authorities, school districts, or nonprofit organizations.

To receive a grant, an eligible recipient must submit an application to the department in accordance with the policies and procedures developed by the department. The bill specifies the information that an application must include at a minimum.

The committee is required to review the applications received and to make recommendations to the department regarding which grant applications to approve. In developing its recommendations, the committee is required to consider whether the eligible recipient will be conducting outreach in hard-to-count communities and the size and geographic and demographic diversity of the hard-to-count communities in which outreach, education, and promotion of the 2020 census will occur as provided by all eligible recipients that receive grant money.

Subject to available appropriations and in accordance with the recommendation of the committee, the department is required to award grants for the purposes of the grant program on or before November 1, 2019, and to distribute the grant money to eligible recipients that were awarded grants within 30 days after the grants are awarded.

Each eligible recipient that received a grant through the grant program is required to submit a report to the department including information to be determined by the department. The department is required to submit a report to the local government committees of the senate and the house of representatives, or any successor committees, and to the governor regarding the census outreach conducted through the grant program.

For the 2019-20 fiscal year, the bill directs the general assembly to appropriate $6 million to the department to award grants to eligible recipients for the purposes of the grant program. In addition, the department may solicit, accept, and expend gifts, grants, or donations from private or public sources for the purposes of the grant program.

On or before May 1, 2026, and on or before May 1 every 10 years thereafter, the department and the office of the governor are required to develop a strategic action plan, including a discussion of necessary funding for the plan, for outreach and promotion for a successful count of the population in Colorado during the upcoming decennial census.

The bill appropriates $6 million from the general fund to the department for use by the division. The appropriation is based on the assumption that the division will require an additional 1.4 FTE and associated direct and indirect costs of administering the grant program.

(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)


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Bill Text