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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Kristin Bahner (DFL)

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Rep. Bahner’s Cybersecurity Legislation a Key Component of House State Government Bill

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

St. Paul, MN - Today, the Minnesota House of Representatives is expected to approve the State Government Finance and Elections Committee’s bill, made up of proposals from legislators to finance a variety of state agencies, boards, and constitutional offices. Also included in the legislation are provisions to continue and strengthen Minnesota’s exemplary record of free, fair, and accessible elections, and improvements to Minnesota’s state pensions plan. 

State Representative Kristin Bahner (DFL - Maple Grove), who serves on the House State Government Finance and Elections Committee, authored the bill’s IT as critical infrastructure provision. Rep. Bahner is the vice chair of the Legislative Commission on Cybersecurity.

“In working with bi-partisan members of the House and Senate, we developed this important provision that designates IT infrastructure as critical infrastructure for our state,” said Rep. Bahner. “This allows our state to react swiftly and without hesitation in the event of a cyberattack on the state’s critical IT infrastructure by collaborating with federal partners, the FBI, Homeland Security and CISA at a time when minutes and hours are critical in defending our state. It would also allow the state access to disaster relief funds in the event of a cyberattack. Passing this first-in-the-nation legislation would position Minnesota as a leader in cybersecurity.  We have a duty to act to secure state services, as well as the data and privacy of our citizens.”

The bill’s investments in IT include $12 million to the Revisor’s Office to upgrade software, $12.4 million to MNIT to improve the resilience of state technology, $10.18 million for cybersecurity, and $7.28 million to stabilize and sustain the state’s enterprise resource planning systems.

A summary of the bill can be found here, and a spreadsheet of the State Government appropriations can be found here. More information on state pensions is available here. Video of today’s floor debate can be found on the House Public Information YouTube channel.