A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report estimates that the State and Local Cybersecurity Act of 2019 (S. 1846) would cost the government $31 million to implement between 2019 and 2024. Those costs would include hiring 15 employees, deploying sensors, and sharing unclassified threat information.

The CBO expects deployment of sensors and information sharing would cost about $20 million, while the hiring of 15 employees would be at an average annual rate of $150,000.

The bill, sponsored by Sens. Gary Peters, D-Mich., and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, aims to improve on the Homeland Security Act of 2002 by providing amendments for engagement with state, local, tribal, and territorial governments. It would allow for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to enhance cybersecurity through coordination with local and state governments. DHS’ National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center also would continue providing training, conducting cyber exercises, and notifying state and local governments of any threats.

In addition, the sponsors said the bill would “would encourage national cybersecurity watchdogs to share information regarding cybersecurity threats, vulnerabilities, breaches and resources to prevent and recover from cyber-attacks with states and localities who are increasingly targeted by bad actors.”

On July 11, the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) announced its endorsement of the bill.

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.