Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ newly proposed budget recommendations include a significant investment in cybersecurity and IT infrastructure statewide.

Top of the line in the budget recommendations, released Feb. 3, is $128 million for cybersecurity resilience, technical assistance grants for local governments, data interoperability, and 36 full-time positions to fulfill its mission. Gov. DeSantis’ office highlighted that this swath of money includes $75 million for Enterprise Cybersecurity Resiliency.

“Governor DeSantis understands the importance of having a state Information Technology infrastructure that is strong and able to protect the state’s most sensitive information,” said State Chief Information Officer James Grant. “With this historic investment, the Florida Digital Service will have the resources needed to protect the state from the growing threat of cyber-attacks and provide cybersecurity solutions across the state like never before.”

Also included in the budget is a proposed $44 million investment in state and local public safety communication systems to enhance the state’s first responder network and provide grant assistance to local 911 systems.

The budget recommendations include multiple measures that address government-facing IT infrastructure needs. Gov. DeSantis is proposing giving the Department of Management Services (DMS) $650,000 to help with attracting and retaining the state’s workforce. Specifically, the money would go to modernizing the tools and resources DMS needs to maintain a strong workforce.

The budget recommendations also include $300,000 for the administration of the Florida Retirement System to help modernize the support, functionality, and security for its 1.1 million members.

If the recommendations are enacted, the state would provide DMS with nearly $700,000 to support the modernization of the state’s Human Resource Information System, as well as an additional new full-time employee to manage the multi-year modernization effort.

“From retirement and healthcare to acquisitions, real estate, and enterprise cybersecurity, the success of the 2023 Legislative Session for DMS will make it easier to do business with state government, secure state IT infrastructure, and serve public servants in the Great State of Florida,” said DMS Secretary Pedro Allende.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs