The segments below provide a brief overview of MACo’s work in the area information technology in the 2022 General Assembly.
Information technology is a growing area of importance for MACo as county governments rely on computer systems of increasing sophistication for a widening scope of operations – including public safety applications, open government portals, billing functions, and emergency alert systems used during major natural and man-made emergencies. As county use of information technology evolves, cybersecurity and protection of resident data rise in importance.
The unique circumstances surrounding the 444th legislative session, including necessary health and safety measures, posed a challenge for lawmakers and advocates alike. Yet, despite the unusual circumstances, MACo’s advocacy still led to more positive outcomes for its members.
MACo supported HB 1339 / SB 810 with amendments. The bill would have authorized the Department of Emergency Management to take action to reduce the disaster risk and vulnerability of critical infrastructure; established the Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity Grant Program in the Department to leverage certain funds to make cybersecurity improvements to critical infrastructure; altered the duties and staffing requirements of the Public Service Commission to include cybersecurity; authorized the Office of People’s Counsel to retain or hire an expert in cybersecurity; etc. HB 1339 / SB 810 Cybersecurity – Critical Infrastructure and Public Service Companies (Critical Infrastructure Act of 2022) failed in the General Assembly.
MACo supported SB 780 with amendments. The bill would have established the Office of Security Management within the Department of Information Technology, certain Office positions, and the Maryland Cybersecurity Coordinating Council; established certain responsibilities and authority of the Office; centralized authority and control of the procurement of all information technology for the Executive Branch of State government in the Department of Information Technology; etc. SB 780 Cybersecurity Governance Act of 2022 failed in the General Assembly.
MACo supported HB 1202 / SB 754 with amendments. The bill establishes the Cyber Preparedness Unit in the Maryland Department of Emergency Management; establishes certain responsibilities of the Unit; requires local governments to report certain cybersecurity incidents in a certain manner and under certain circumstances; requires the Maryland Joint Operations Center to notify appropriate agencies of a cybersecurity incident in a certain manner; establishing the Office of Security Management within the Department of Information Technology and certain Office positions; etc. HB 1202 / SB 754 Local Government Cybersecurity – Coordination and Operations (Local Cybersecurity Support Act of 2022) passed the General Assembly and awaits the Governor’s signature.
MACo supported HB 1346 / SB 812 with amendments. The bill establishes the Office of Security Management within the Department of Information Technology (DoIT); establishes the Cybersecurity Coordination and Operations Unit in DoIT; requiring each unit of the Executive Branch of State government and certain local entities to report certain cybersecurity incidents; requires the Secretary of Information Technology to develop and maintain a statewide cybersecurity master plan; establishes the Maryland Cybersecurity Coordinating Council; etc. HB 1346 / SB 812 Local State Government – Cybersecurity – Coordination and Governance passed the General Assembly and awaits the Governor’s signature.
MACo supported HB 1205/SB 881 with amendments. The bill establishes a Statewide Reporting Framework and Oversight Commission in the Department to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of certain information held by the State concerning State residents and to determine certain technology and cybersecurity investments and upgrades; establishes the Local Cybersecurity Support Fund to provide financial assistance to local governments to improve cybersecurity preparedness; exempts certain procurements by the Department from oversight by the Board of Public Works; etc. HB 1205 / SB 811 Local State Government – Information Technology – and Cybersecurity-Related Infrastructure (Modernize Maryland Act of 2022) passed the General Assembly and awaits the Governor’s signature.
MACo supported HB 5/SB 107 with amendments. The bill would have preempted county government’s decisions regarding cybersecurity trainings for employees. HB 5 / SB 107 Local State Government – State and Local Government Employees and Contractors – Cybersecurity Training failed in the General Assembly.