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Milwaukee might get one-fifth the money it received in 2000 to urge people to fill out Census forms

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Wisconsin's largest city might only get one-fifth the money it received 10 years ago to urge people to fill out their Census forms next spring.

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Milwaukee spent a $0.5 million in state and city funds in 2000 to make sure as many as people as possible were counted.

But administration chief Sharon Robinson says the city might only get $100,000 this year.

The stakes are high because the Census determines how much federal aid each state and community gets. It also determines how many members of Congress each state gets.

Wisconsin lost a House member 10 years ago, even the state had one of the smallest undercounts in the nation, an estimated 0.7 of 1 percent.

Milwaukee is not the only big city that's worried it won't count everybody.

The Pew Charitable Trust says 11 big cities plan to devote less money and fewer staffers to promote the Census.

And experts are concerned about lower counts due to a lack of resources, more home foreclosures and a growing distrust of government in some circles. Milwaukee officials said they realized a long time ago there would be less funding to work on the Census, so they'll have more volunteers urging people to complete their forms.

The Census Bureau plans a $300 million media campaign emphasizing that it's easy and safe for people to complete their forms.

All households will get Census forms next March and they have to be returned by April 1.

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