Congressmen right to fight for Census funds

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 28, 2001

Taking a lesson from the old adage, &uot;you’ll never get anything you don’t ask for,&uot; Fourth District Rep. Ronnie Shows, D-Miss., and other of the state’s congressional delegates are trying to fight for money owed to Mississippi.

Shows says an audit report of the U.S. Census shows 35,000 Mississippians were missed in the last year’s count.

While it may not seem like a huge mistake, the oversight will cost Mississippi $12.5 million in federal funds over the next 10 years.

Email newsletter signup

Mississippi will already be forced to lose a U.S. House seat since the state’s 10 percent growth rate did not keep pace with the rest of the U.S.

While the error isn’t easily fixed, the oversight of the federal funds can be addressed, said Third District Rep. Chip Pickering.

&uot;Congress could correct and address this issue,&uot; he said.

Pickering and Shows are 100 percent correct. Although the money in question certainly won’t make or break the state, if it is rightfully owed to us, we need to do everything in our power to collect it.

It’s disappointing, however, that Gov. Ronnie Musgrove was quick to accept that the state may simply be out the money – $349 for each uncounted resident.

Most of the federal funds in question are part of programs which serve the disadvantaged in our state.

Again, in the grand scheme of things $12 million won’t make or break the state, but some of the well-being of the poor residents who take part in the programs could certainly have their lives affected.