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07/21/2021
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We've been here before

The U.S. House of Representatives yesterday approved legislation that would create a new grant program giving state and local governments $500 million annually to bolster their cybersecurity efforts. The State and Local Cybersecurity Improvement Act, which has been a longtime priority of NASCIO, passed amid a growing focus from the federal government on ransomware and other threats to government and critical infrastructure. A similar grant bill passed the House last year but failed to move forward in the Senate. NASCIO said after Tuesday's vote that "we applaud the House passage and look forward to the same in the Senate." Benjamin Freed reports.


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Connecticut gets modern

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont on Monday signed wide-ranging legislation that includes provisions to improve the state’s digital government offerings and oversight of educational technology deployments. Among the act's provisions is a strategic plan that includes modern digital-identity standards, plans for a statewide telecommunications network and an accounting of all of the state’s current annual expenditures and capital investments for technology. Colin Wood has more.


Colorado mandates web access for disabled

Colorado officials said their state will become the first in the country to require that all state and local government websites meet a set of yet-to-be-determined accessibility standards, following Gov. Jared Polis' signature last month of legislation that directs agencies to submit plans to make their websites accessible within the next 12 months, after which the state’s IT office will work with them to ensure they’re compliant with the new standards. Ryan Johnston has details.


A new one to watch for

Officials in Geneva, Ohio, revealed Monday that the small city was the victim of a breach involving a new and little-known form of ransomware. The disclosure came after files taken from the city’s servers appeared on a leak site operated by a ransomware outfit known as AvosLocker, which began publishing data stolen from its targets in early June. Allan Liska, an analyst at Recorded Future, said AvosLocker is “really new and have mostly hit relatively small targets so far.” Ben has the latest.


Maryland to award $30 million in broadband grants

Maryland will distribute nearly $30 million in grants to internet service providers and utilities to build out the state’s broadband infrastructure, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Tuesday. The state expects to expand broadband access to roughly 12,000 households in 18 counties through grants from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s Office of Statewide Broadband, which was created earlier this year. Ryan has the story.


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