Gov. Hogan signs group of cybersecurity, public health, transportation bills

Gov. Hogan signs group of cybersecurity, public health, transportation bills


Governor Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R), House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones (D-Baltimore County) and Senate President Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore City) signed 105 bills Thursday, including three measures to strengthen the state. cybersecurity network.

Senate President Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore City), Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) and House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones (D-Baltimore County) sign cybersecurity, public health and transportation bills Thursday. Photo by Hannah Gaskill.

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Governor Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R), House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones (D-Baltimore County) and Senate President Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore City) signed 105 bills Thursday, including three measures to strengthen the state. cybersecurity network.

“These are bills that really got into the weeds and it really matters that we do it right and in a very bipartisan and thoughtful way to better protect the Maryland government and, most importantly, the people of Maryland,” he said. say Ferguson before starting the signing.

Among the first bills signed were:

  • Senate Bill 754, which will provide funding for the permanent establishment of the Cybersecurity Preparedness Unit in the Maryland Department of Emergency Management;
  • Senate Bill 812, which will pave the way for the centralization of the management of Maryland’s cybersecurity systems under the Department of Information Technology; i
  • House Bill 1205, which will establish a commission through the Department of Information Technology to advise the head of state information security on how to modernize legacy technology systems in Maryland state agencies.

“The General Assembly is passing bills for a modern society with modern values ​​and keeping our commitment to keep Maryland moving forward,” Jones said.

Hogan said that by signing these bills, he and the presidents of the legislature “will further strengthen Maryland’s position as America’s cyber capital.”

The legislative package became an urgent necessity in recent years after cyberattacks against local governments and school systems, and even more so after the Maryland Department of Health suffered a cyberattack on December 6, which paralyzed many of its systems. and left local health departments languishing.

Senator Katie Fry Hester (D-Howard). Photo by Danielle E. Gaines.

It was a tough battle for Senator Katie Fry Hester (D-Howard), who co-sponsored all three with Del. Patrick G. Young Jr. (D-Baltimore County), to persuade Republicans in the Senate to vote in favor. of the measures, which were considered too broad and written quickly.

After minor tweaks, the package finally came out of the Senate with a majority or near-majority vote.

Hester and Young, who is leaving the legislature for a seat on the Baltimore County Council, co-chaired the Joint Committee on Cybersecurity, Information Technology and Biotechnology. The committee worked for three years on the accounts in consultation with the Department of Information Technology, the Department of Emergency Management, the governor’s office and experts from across the country.

His enactment is a victory for Hester, who is one of the most vulnerable lawmakers in his re-election to the Senate. He will face Del. Reid J. Novotny (R-Carroll and Howard), Colonel of the Maryland National Air Guard and cybersecurity expert, during the 2022 general election.

Among the other 102 bills signed were measures to:

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