Several House lawmakers have introduced a bill that would allocate $28 billion in federal funds to modernize and improve the security of information technology systems of state and local government agencies in response to a recommendation by the Cyberspace Solarium Commission in a recent white paper.
The State and Local IT Modernization and Cybersecurity Act would establish the Modernizing IT Program, Public Health Emergency IT Modernization Grant Program, a State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program.
The Modernizing IT Program seeks to distribute $25 billion in grants to help state and local government agencies facilitate the digital delivery of emergency, administrative, benefit and entitlement services, while the Public Health Emergency IT Modernization Grant Program intends to provide $1 billion in funds to help agencies cover COVID-19 expenses for IT services and equipment.
The third grant program will allot $2 billion in funds for fiscal years 2021 through 2025 to help agencies implement a state cybersecurity plan to address cyber threats.
“In our initial report, the Solarium Commission recognized that outdated state and local government systems were attractive targets for our adversaries and that we needed to help them migrate to secure, cloud-based infrastructure,” Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.), a Cyberspace Solarium commissioner and senior member of the House Homeland Security Committee, said in a statement published Thursday.
“The State and Local IT Modernization and Cybersecurity Act will dramatically improve e-government services, protect workers, and significantly enhance security," he added.
Other proponents of the bill are Solarium co-chairs Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) and Reps. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) as well as Reps. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), Will Hurd (R-Texas), C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.), Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Max Rose (D-N.Y.) and Don Bacon (R-Neb.).