2015-07-07 National Governors Association

Federal Cybersecurity Legislation

The Honorable John Boehner
Speaker of the House
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Minority Leader
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Majority Leader
U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Harry Reid
Democratic Leader
U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Speaker Boehner, Leader Pelosi, Leader McConnell and Leader Reid:

As Congress considers legislation to strengthen the nation’s cybersecurity, we urge you to ensure federal efforts support existing state laws and initiatives to protect consumers, secure individuals’ data and strengthen partnerships among all levels of government and the private sector.

Governors are leading efforts to improve the cybersecurity posture of their states, including strengthening the security and resiliency of state networks and partnering with the private sector to protect critical infrastructure. States are working collectively through the National Governors Association Resource Center for State Cybersecurity to share best practices and bring stakeholders together to address cybersecurity challenges. Forums, such as the Council of Governors, also are convening key leaders to improve information sharing and better coordinate state and federal cybersecurity activities.

Congress can support these efforts by ensuring that cybersecurity legislation enhances the state-federal partnership and encourages innovative solutions to protect citizens, businesses and infrastructure. As you develop and consider cybersecurity and data breach legislation, we urge you to incorporate the following priorities:

  1. Maintain states’ ability to protect consumers – Legislation to establish a national data breach notification standard should maintain states’ ability to enforce civil penalties for violations and provide additional protections in state statute if desired.
  2. Enable effective information sharing with states – Federal efforts to encourage the private sector to share information on cyber threats with the federal government also should improve information sharing with state and local authorities.
  3. Support the National Guard’s role in cybersecurity – Congress should continue to support efforts of the Army and Air National Guard to build cyber mission forces. The National Guard is a cost effective force uniquely positioned to leverage private sector cybersecurity skills while supporting federal and state needs.

Governors are committed to strengthening the nation’s cybersecurity. We appreciate your consideration of these priorities and stand ready to work with Congress, our federal partners and the private sector to strengthen our collective cybersecurity posture.

Sincerely,

Governor Rick Snyder
Chair
Homeland Security & Public Safety Committee
Co-chair
Resource Center for State Cybersecurity

Governor Terry McAuliffe
Vice Chair
Homeland Security & Public Safety Committee
Co-chair
Resource Center for State Cybersecurity

Governor Terry E. Branstad
Co-Chair
Council of Governors

Governor Dannel P. Malloy
Co-Chair
Council of Governors

Cc: House and Senate committee leadership

Share via