With New Jersey facing a multi-billion dollar revenue shortfall because of the COVID-19 shutdown, Gov. Phil Murphy is urging all Garden State residents to fill out their 2020 Census forms.

“The Census determines whether or not New Jersey will receive billions of dollars in much needed federal funding, and if you don’t get counted it means we will leave money on the table that will go to some other state," Murphy said Thursday.

Murphy said we know for a fact we were under-counted during the last Census count in 2010, which meant a loss of tens of billions of dollars in federal aid and grants.

“As we begin our restart and recovery, that’s a hole we have to work even harder to pull ourselves out of," Murphy said.

He urged anyone who has not responded to the Census to go to 2020census.gov.

About 62% of New Jerseyans have already responded, which is two points higher than the national average.

State Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said the Census is important for the health of New Jersey.

“Census data informs the number of community health centers built and the location of hospital facilities and resources for improvements,” she said.

She pointed out that if New Jersey is undercounted, “that means less federal funding for healthcare services and nutrition and health and health programs.”

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Persichilli said the state receives federal funding based on Census information for more than 50 programs including Medicaid, Medicare, children’s health insurance, community healthcare centers and eldercare.

“This type of support is going to be more important than ever given the health, social and economic impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.

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You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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