Coalition Letter Addressing Cybersecurity and IT Infrastructure Needs Due To COVID-19

April 28, 2020

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Majority Leader
United States Senate
U.S. Capitol Building, Room S-230
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Chuck Schumer
Minority Leader
United States Senate
U.S. Capitol Building, Room S-224
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House
United States House of Representatives
U.S. Capitol Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
Minority Leader
United States House of Representatives
U.S. Capitol Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Majority Leader McConnell, Minority Leader Schumer, Speaker Pelosi, and Minority Leader McCarthy:

On behalf of our collective associations, we write to you to urge for the inclusion of direct funding to states, territories and localities specifically for addressing cybersecurity and IT infrastructure needs due to the global impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

While we greatly appreciate the actions taken by Congress thus far to support state, territorial and local governments, the response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic creates unique challenges for continuity of government and the ability to provide timely and critical services to citizens.

COVID-19 has required our workforces, educational systems and general way of life to quickly move remotely, exerting greater pressure on cybersecurity and IT professionals and increasing the risk of vulnerabilities and gaps to state and local networks. These gaps are exacerbated by systems requiring modernization that do not foster remote work, which also increases the risks to employees supporting these systems.

Likewise, increased traffic to unemployment portals and health insurance marketplaces has created additional risks as systems are being modified or created to handle the exponential increase in demand. This surge on our information technology infrastructure requires additional investment in both funding and manpower to keep up with the massive usage. Additionally, malicious cyber actors have used attention on COVID-19 to their advantage, further targeting government infrastructure, the healthcare sector, and individual citizens for internet crimes, such as ransomware, phishing, and computer-enabled financial fraud.

As such, we request Congress authorize and fully fund a dedicated cybersecurity program to help states, territories and localities develop and implement innovative and effective cybersecurity practices to include for remote work; help to build resources and human capital; better detect, analyze and protect against cyber threats; and help to enhance partnerships among different levels of government.

We appreciate your continued support and your consideration of these requests.


National Governors Association
Government Finance Officers Association
Governors Homeland Security Advisors Council
International City/County Management Association
National Association of Counties
National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers
National Association of State Chief Information Officers
National Association of State Treasurers
National Conference of State Legislatures
National Emergency Management Association
National League of Cities
The Council of State Governments