The 2000 census may ask fewer questions due to budget cuts, which may mean less information for state and local governments to use in allocating federal money and targeting areas for their programs.

"The census information is critical" to state and local governments, said Jim Martin, director of the office of federal and state affairs for the National Governors' Association. He said that the data is used not only for allocating federal moneys, but also for many state and local programs.

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