President Obama's proposed budget for the coming fiscal year includes a 28 percent increase in funding for the Census Bureau, which is critical to the survey, opinion and marketing research profession's interests.

The White House has proposed $1.211 billion dollars for the Census Bureau's activities in FY2015.

According to the Department of Commerce, most of that money is dedicated to supporting the American Community Survey (ACS) and "key research and testing of innovative design methods necessary to achieve an effective 2020 decennial census at the lowest cost possible. This research and testing phase must be complete by the end of 2015 to make important 2020 operational decisions. Without this additional funding for key testing, much of the cost containment efforts leading up to the 2020 Census will face increasing operational risk and decreasing accuracy."

In January, the President signed an omnibus funding law, belatedly approving $945 million for the Census in FY2014 --$37.5 million less than the Administration's request (and the Senate Appropriations Committee's approved level), but $57.6 million more than what the Census received in FY2013, and $100 million more than the House Appropriations Committee's approved level.

As the appropriations cycle kicks into gear, MRA will go to bat for Census funding as usual with our Census Project coalition allies.