A bipartisan contingent of congressional leaders in the areas of cyber security and information technology on Thursday introduced a bill that would provide $28 billion to improve the cyber security and efficiency of state and local information technology (IT) systems.
The State and Local IT Modernization and Cybersecurity Act, which has backers in the House and Senate and will be introduced in both chambers, supports a recommendation of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission for the federal government to help state and local governments strengthen their cyber security postures.
"In our initial report, the Solarium Commission recognized that outdated state and local government systems were attractive targets for our adversaries and that we needed to help them migrate to secure, cloud-based infrastructure,"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. James Langevin (D-R.I.), a commission member and co-sponsor of the bill, said in a statement. "COVID-19 has made it apparent how much legacy IT is affecting state and local governments operationally. We need immediate investments to ensure state and local employees can safely work remotely, and we need IT modernization strategies to ensure that essential services, like unemployment insurance, can be provided to Americans in need."
The bill includes a Modernizing IT Technology Program that authorizes $25 billion for grants to state and local governments to improve digital delivery of government services over five years.
Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) and Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), co-chairs of the commission, also sponsored the bill, along with six more House Democrats and Republicans.