Executive Order Cementing Illinois' Comprehensive 2020 Census Effort
WHEREAS, once each decade, the U.S. Census Bureau seeks to count every person in the United States. The next census will occur on April 1, 2020 and will be the first census to rely heavily on online responses;
WHEREAS, the Office of the Governor is committed to ensuring that Illinoisans receive their fair share of federal resources and are fairly represented in Congress by encouraging the full participation of all Illinoisans in Census 2020;
WHEREAS, a complete and accurate count of Illinois' population is essential, because data collected by the Census directly impacts - for 10 years - the number of seats the State will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, the redistricting of the State legislature, and how billions of dollars in federal funds are distributed to the State and local governments;
WHEREAS, Illinois and its local jurisdictions utilize census data to develop an accurate understanding of the social and economic characteristics of geographic areas and population groups to determine those areas and groups' funding for infrastructure projects, economic development programs, job training, schools, and other vital programs and services;
WHEREAS, an accurate count of Illinois' population is essential to ensure that the State receives the funding it needs to properly care for its residents and provide critical services and programs. In 2015, Illinois received $19,738,866,367, or approximately $1,535 per capita, in federal assistance for 16 programs. The failure to count every Illinois resident would have devastating effects on Illinois' ability to meet the needs of its residents. Even a one-percent undercount would result in the State losing $19,557,435 per year for a decade, resulting in a total loss of $195,574,350;
WHEREAS, the primary and perpetual challenge facing the U.S. Census Bureau is the undercount of certain population groups;
WHEREAS, a geographic area is considered "hard to count" if the area's self-response rate in the 2010 decennial census was 73% or less;
WHEREAS, 16% of Illinois' population live in "hard to count" communities; these communities include racial and ethnic minorities, foreign-born individuals, renters, people with disabilities, those living close to or below the poverty line, homeless persons, undocumented immigrants, young mobile persons, LGBTQ persons, people who live in rural areas, and children younger than five years old;
WHEREAS, given the emphasis on the use of online responses to conduct the 2020 Census, "hard to count" communities also include individuals living in homes without a broadband internet subscription;
WHEREAS, 18% of Illinois households have either no or very limited Internet access;
WHEREAS, despite progress made by the Illinois Complete Count Commission led by the Illinois Secretary of State's office, many Illinois residents and families are still at risk of being uncounted or undercounted in the Census;
WHEREAS, the best interest of Illinois families and communities will only be served by a complete and accurate 2020 Census;
WHEREAS, to ensure a complete and accurate count, the State must start a robust mobilization effort now to educate and engage communities across the state, increase collaboration between all levels of government, and build strong partnerships between private-sector and community leaders;
THEREFORE, I, JB Pritzker, Governor of Illinois, by virtue of the executive authority vested in me by Article V of the Constitution of the State of Illinois, hereby order as follows:
- The Census Office is Established within the Department of Human Services
- The Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) shall establish an office (the Census Office) to support the Illinois Census 2020 by conducting outreach and education, distributing critical funding to ensure an accurate and complete census count throughout Illinois, and providing grant oversight and assistance.
- The Census Office within DHS shall coordinate the State's census efforts. In doing so, the Census Office shall work closely with the Office of the Governor and shall have the authority to enlist the assistance of all State agencies and departments within the executive branch to, among other things, identify opportunities for education and promotion of the 2020 Census with Illinois residents. Each agency and department within the executive branch shall designate a point person to work with the Census Office to achieve the purposes of this order. All agencies and departments within the executive branch shall, to the extent not inconsistent with law, cooperate fully with the Census Office and furnish it with such assistance on as timely a basis as is necessary to accomplish the purposes of this Executive Order.
- Two census co-coordinators (Census Co-Coordinators) shall be appointed by the Governor to direct the Census Office to ensure it achieves the purposes of this Executive Order.
- The Census Co-Coordinators will lead the state's effort to ensure a complete and accurate 2020 Census count for the State of Illinois.
- In directing the work of the Census Office, the Census Co-Coordinators may consult with experts or other knowledgeable individuals in the public or private sector on any aspect of their mission.
- The Census Co-Coordinators shall receive input from the Census Advisory Panel to assist them in directing the work of the Census Office and achieving the goals of this Executive Order.
- DHS shall file reports on a public website on the first of every month until the Census 2020 work is complete, beginning September 1, 2019. These reports shall outline the overall budget for Illinois 2020 Census-related efforts, expenditures, and the distribution of funding to organizations throughout Illinois. The Illinois Senate President, the Speaker of the Illinois House, and the Senate and House Minority Leaders may request that DHS include additional information related to the work of the Census Office in the monthly reports, and DHS shall include such information.
- The Census Advisory Panel is Established
- The Census Advisory Panel (the "Panel") shall consist of 12 members. The Governor shall appoint two members; the President of the Senate or his or her designee shall appoint three members; the Speaker of the House of Representatives or his or her designee shall appoint three members; the Minority leader of the Senate or his or her designee shall appoint two members; and the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives or his or her designee shall appoint two members. The individuals appointed by the Governor and the legislative leaders shall represent a broad cross-section of the state's population.
- The Scope of the Work of the Census Advisory Panel
The Panel shall:
- Serve as an advisory board to the Census Office within DHS to help ensure a complete and accurate census count in Illinois. The assistance and advice provided by the Panel may include guidance on:
- Drafting the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the distribution of Census funds;
- Identifying the broad funding allocation plan and the phases for its distribution;
- Assisting with outreach and education;
- Identifying capacity building needs and opportunities for technical assistance for entities responding to the NOFO;
- Ensuring wide distribution of the NOFO to ensure a robust competitive process for the funding;
- Monitoring the effectiveness of the efforts of the Census Office;
- Coordinating with the Illinois Complete Count Commission; and
- Crafting messaging and strategies to ensure Illinoisans are reached in linguistically competent and culturally appropriate ways.
- Focus its efforts on ensuring that those communities historically undercounted in the Census and other "hard to count" communities throughout Illinois receive specialized outreach and assistance.
- Convene in person or by teleconference to faithfully fulfill the responsibilities as described above.
- The Timing of the Work of the Census Office
- On or before June 30, 2019, the Co-Coordinators shall hold at least one meeting of the Panel.
- On or before July 31, 2019, DHS shall post a public Notice of Funding Opportunity ("NOFO"), consistent with Illinois Grant Accountability and Transparency Act rules, describing the opportunity for grant funding for outreach efforts. The NOFO shall invite applications seeking Regional Intermediaries to conduct outreach in distinct geographic regions of Illinois.
- After the funding of grant recipients and on or before March 31, 2020, the Co-Coordinators, with advice from the Panel, shall identify any areas of further need. Based on identified areas of further need, the Co-Coordinators, shall determine whether to increase existing grant funding to Regional Intermediaries and/or provide grants to new grantees to address identified needs.
- Savings Clause
Nothing in this Executive Order shall be construed to contravene any federal or State law or regulation. Nothing in this Executive Order shall affect or alter the existing statutory powers of any State agency or be construed as a reassignment or reorganization of any State agency.
- Prior Executive Orders
This Executive Order supersedes any contrary provision of any other prior Executive Order.
- Severability Clause
If any part of this Executive Order is found to be invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction the remaining provisions shall remain in full force and effect. The provisions of this Executive Order are severable.
- Effective Date
The Executive Order shall take effect immediately upon its filing with the Secretary of State.
JB Pritzker, Governor
Issued by Governor: June 20, 2019
Filed with Secretary of State: June 20, 2019