Florida Will Lose Millions over 2020 Census Undercount


As a result of an undercount in the 2020 census, Florida is projected to lose millions of dollars in federal funding, including as much as $88 million in Medicaid payments alone.

However, the undercount was not substantial enough to impact Florida’s gain of one seat in Congress. Florida’s legislative leadership are preparing for redistricting Florida’s congressional seats during the upcoming legislative session.

“Prior to the start of the 2022 Regular Session the Legislature will hold interim committee meetings, at which time the committees that conduct the redistricting and reapportionment processes may meet,” according to the Florida Senate’s redistricting site.

Florida TaxWatch, a non-profit economic think tank and government watchdog, projects Florida could have lost out on as much as $14.6 billion in federal funds from another undercount in the 2010 census.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the appointment of a Complete Count Committee in early 2020, and one committee member said there was not much of a priority to get an accurate census count from the DeSantis administration.

“There wasn’t really any effort for the committee to try to get a full count,” said Arturo Lopez, executive director for the Coalition of Florida Farmworkers Organizations. “Unfortunately, that advisory committee was in name only.”

The committee was chaired by Florida Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nunez, and another committee member had a similar outlook.

“The Governor’s Office running this were not explicit in asking for hard commitments, such as, ‘We’re going to run this many PSAs or have members knock on doors or make phone calls,'” said Jeff Johnson, Florida state director for AARP. “There may have been an opportunity to do more if we were more strongly coordinated.”

While Medicaid will likely be a huge loss for Florida, a number of other federally provided projects will be impacted by the count include federal highways, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

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Grant Holcomb is a reporter at The Florida Capital Star and the Star News Network. Follow Grant on Twitter and direct message tips.





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