Several senators introduced legislation on Oct. 30 that aims to “strengthen local government cybersecurity defenses by switching to the .gov domain for websites and email addresses.”

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, on Oct. 31 signed Act 77 of 2019, a wide-ranging election reform bill that directs significant new spending to improve election security. The legislation will take effect prior to the state’s April 2020 primary election.






The FBI released new election security resources as part of its Protected Voices initiative on Oct. 23.






A bill reintroduced in the Senate Oct. 24 aims to increase the reach of emergency alert communications on national and state levels by preventing some alert opt-outs on mobile phones, requiring that alerts issued by the White House or the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) be run repeatedly by television and radio stations, and exploring how to create a system to offer emergency alerts on audio and video online streaming services.






The Department of Agriculture (USDA) made its first investment under its ReConnect pilot program to support broadband availability, offering $2.85 million to a local service provider in Tennessee, the department announced October 18.






Cybersecurity

The Advancing Cybersecurity Diagnostics and Mitigation Act, H.R. 4237, was unanimously approved by the House Homeland Security Committee on Oct. 23.






The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), along with the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), on Oct. 24 launched their Accelerate R2 Network Challenge.






Following a successful ransomware attack against the city earlier this year, Baltimore, Md. has purchased $20 million in cybersecurity insurance.






The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) released its annual “State of the CIO Survey” today and found that state CIOs are increasingly focused on managing customer relationships.






The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO), the Center for Digital Government (CDG), and IBM released a study today on artificial intelligence (AI) trends among state IT executives.






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