FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 7, 2018
Contact: Press@paul.senate.gov, 202-224-4343
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) applauded the U.S. Census Bureau for finalizing a rule change he proposed for the 2020 census. The updated policy would require the Census Bureau to count all deployed service members at the base or port in which they resided prior to deployment instead of by their home of record, an address they gave when they enlisted.
The Bureau’s previous method resulted in 2010 census data that improperly represented areas including Fort Campbell, Kentucky. While the region around Fort Campbell had grown greatly since the 2000 census, the 2010 census did not accurately reflect this growth due to the Bureau’s policy on counting deployed service members.
“Kentucky is proud of our service members and their families, and I applaud the Census Bureau for following through on a change that will ensure our military communities are properly represented and have the resources they need to continue supporting our military. Every service member deserves to be counted, and today’s action proves concerned citizens can make a difference,” said Dr. Paul.
After hearing from local officials and community leaders about the inaccurate reporting, Dr. Paul led the effort to enact change, including contacting the Bureau directly and introducing the “Service Members and Communities Count Act” to ensure the correct reporting of all deployed service members. Previously, Dr. Paul’s reform had unanimously passed the Senate multiple times as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
“We are excited that the Census Bureau has decided to count military personnel where they live prior to deployment,” said Hopkinsville, Kentucky, Mayor Carter Hendricks. “This simple change ensures military families are counted in the communities, like Hopkinsville, that work tirelessly to support soldiers and their families. We appreciate Senator Paul’s tireless work and support on this effort!”
“Today’s announcement is a victory for our region and our state,” said Kelli Pendleton, President and CEO of Kentucky’s Christian County Chamber of Commerce. “To have our soldiers counted at the installation where they are stationed during a deployment has a large economic impact on our region. This is an effort we have worked tirelessly on for several years, and we are thrilled with today’s decision. We want to thank Senator Rand Paul and his staff for taking this issue seriously and championing this cause.”
Last year, Dr. Paul wrote U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to urge the finalization of the rule, which the Bureau originally proposed in June 2016.
The final rule essentially incorporates Dr. Paul’s legislation into the Census Bureau’s rules and creates one consistent and logical method for counting service members deployed overseas.
You can read the Census Bureau’s announcement HERE.