Once again Alabama has been impacted by the ruling of a Federal Court. This time, however, the impact on our state is a positive one. Owing to the impacts brought on by the pandemic, COVID- 19, the Court has decided that the deadline for completing the 2020 census has been moved to October 31, 2020.

How appropriate that the new deadline corresponds with Halloween. The results of the census count may be a very scary thing for states such as Alabama. Our state is currently in last place with respect to the percentage of our residents responding to the mandatory reporting. The reasons for this lack of response are hard to identify. It could possibly be a fear of the government knowing too much about our citizens, it could be a lack of understanding about what information is requested, it could be a fear by some groups of the government coming to “get them”. All these fears are unfounded, but the fear of the unknown is always a strong motivator.

The impact of underreporting our population numbers can be devastating. Alabama could loose federal funding. We could loose one of our Members of the United States House of Representatives.

Responding to the census is a very easy process. The options for completing the response include:

❖ Filling out the form that you received in the mail;
❖ Completing the form online at www.my2020census.gov

The main things to remember are that for Alabama to continue to have seven Members of the United States House of Representatives we must has a strong, complete and accurate response to the census. The same thing can be said to maintain our share of Federal funding. Alabama is fortunate to have several very important military installations, we enjoy a strong presence of NASA in the Huntsville area and the FBI is in the process of moving many of its employees and operations to the Huntsville area. The corporate facilities tied to the military and NASA depend on these installations to support the work they perform. Few people realize the level of high-tech activity in Huntsville and Montgomery connected to the military or the maintenance work done on helicopters in the wiregrass. Thousands of jobs and millions of payroll dollars could be at stake.

Governor Ivey, and her administration, has made the census count priority one and we have been given a reprieve from the original deadline. If you have completed your census form thank you. If you have not yet completed the census, please get it done today.

The Alabama House will reconvene at noon on Tuesday, February 2, 2021