Hurd Proposes $28 Billion for State, Local Recovery and Advancement Efforts
WASHINGTON—Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) helped introduce legislation today to provide $28 billion for state and local governments to update technological infrastructure to help with COVID-19 recovery efforts and enhance existing cyber infrastructure. These updates could include items like workforce development sites, which citizens use to file for unemployment, online food assistance applications, public health agencies’ resources and other critical infrastructure.
“Our response to COVID-19 cannot be simply about recovery and returning to the status quo before the virus, it must be about advancement and bettering ourselves for the future. Our technological infrastructure is the infrastructure of our future, and, by providing additional funds to our state and local governments, we are giving states and municipalities the ability to help folks recover from COVID-19 and set themselves up for success once this pandemic is history.
“Since I came to Congress, I have worked to ensure the federal government is modernizing its IT to save taxpayer dollars and make government services more efficient. We created the Technology Modernization Fund to update federal agencies’ dated, weak IT systems, but that’s not enough. Today, I’m proud to bring that model to state and local governments. We need to ensure states can also update their systems because we rely on them today, as we work through the virus, and every day. All online infrastructure should be strong regardless of whether it’s for the state, local or federal government. With the State and Local IT Modernization and Cybersecurity Act, we can bring this infrastructure into the 21st century.”
The State and Local IT Modernization and Cybersecurity Act creates three grant programs that will empower state, local, tribal and territorial governments to modernize and secure their IT systems:
- The Public Health Emergency Information Technology Grant Program provides $1 billion to support emergency IT expenses exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The Modernizing IT Grant Program provides $25 billion to modernize the delivery of digital government services to Americans.
- The State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program allocates $2 billion for states to execute their individual cybersecurity strategies.
The act also charges the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to develop a strategy that identifies how the federal government can support state, local, tribal and territorial governments’ cybersecurity efforts.