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Weekly Address — September 5, 2019

From the historic hallways of the most beautiful state Capitol in our great nation, this is Senator Keith Ingram.

April first of 2020 is national Census Day, and Arkansas is one of the many states that are getting a head start on promoting an accurate headcount of citizens.

The governor has appointed a panel of mayors, county officials, legislators, educators and civic leaders to encourage full participation in the census.

The group is called the Arkansas Complete Count Committee, and you’ll be hearing a lot about them as we approach the deadline for the census.

Why is it so important? For one thing, federal aid to state and local governments is based on population.

Even a 1 percent variation could cost Arkansas $990 million over the next 10 years. That’s almost a billion dollars in federal aid.

The size of our Congressional delegation and the boundaries of legislative districts will depend on the results of the census.

Corporate executives rely on per capita income in their decision-making, such as whether to locate a manufacturing plant or a retail outlet in a particular region. Accurate census data is necessary in order to calculate accurate figures on per capita income.

If there is an outbreak of a contagious disease, public health officials need an accurate census to gauge its severity.

There are many ways you can be counted, such as your computer or your smart phone. If you’re old school, you can still use the post office and mail in your census form.

According to recent figures, the population of Arkansas is more than 3 million people, which is an increase of 3.4 percent since the last census in 2010.

The ramifications of an accurate census are too important to ignore, so I’m urging all of you to step up and be counted. It’s your civic duty.

From the Capitol, it is always my greatest honor and most sincere privilege to serve you as your state Senator. This is Keith Ingram.


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