Texas Spending Zero on Census

Barbara Schwarz
January 18, 2020 - 10:26 am

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DALLAS (KRLD) - Some states are spending megabucks to ensure an accurate census count.  California and New York are each spending over 100 dollars on the once in a decade count.  Texas is spending nothing.

Former Dallasite Michael Li is a senior redistricting counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU school of law in New York.  He participated in election-related redistricting work in Texas. 

He says the Lone State State is the fastest growing in the nation, and the lack of funding, while hard to pinpoint, could have to do with redistricting.  "If the populations are large enough that you have to draw majority-minority districts in some places, Texas may be reluctant to do that.  Those districts tend to lean Democratic."

Li says Texas has a diverse population that is hard to count.   He says most of the growth is provided by people of color, predominately Latinos.   "People will oftentimes talk about people moving to Texas, but the reality of it is over half of Texas' growth is by birth and most of that is Latinos."

He says Texas stands to lose federal funding for roads, schools, and hospitals.  It could also cost the state a congressional seat.  He says an accurate count would have given the state three new seats in Congress. An undercount could mean we get two, if not one.