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Budget conference: Cybersecurity Task Force report due date to be extended

Senators agreed to a 3-month extension to the report.

Lawmakers agreed to push back the expiration date and final assessment deadline for the state’s review of its agencies’ cybersecurity readiness.

The Cybersecurity Task Force convened in October to review and provide recommendations to improve the state’s cybersecurity infrastructure, governance and operations. But Senators acceded Sunday to the House’s request to extend the task force’s final report deadline by three months and its expiration date by four.

“When you talk about the threat that we can have in the state of Florida when it comes to our infrastructure and cyber, we need to make sure that we get it right, not that we get this fast,” said Rep. Jayer Williamson, the lead House government operations budget negotiator.

Last year, the Legislature established the task force (HB 5301) under the Department of Management Services. Its report will outline necessary additions to current technologies, processes and personnel to close shortfalls, mitigate risk and protect Floridians’ data.

Under its initial charter, the task force is to provide its final report on Nov. 1, 2020 before disbanding on Jan. 1, 2021. Now, lawmakers look poised to kick back the review deadline to Feb. 1, 2021 before the task force shutters on May 1, 2021.

“We want to make sure they’ve had time to go around the state, which they’ve been doing, holding meetings, to make sure that they go to every corner of the state of Florida from Pensacola to Key West to make sure that they get it right,” Williamson said.

Senate beancounters provided their counteroffer Sunday after budget conferences began Saturday. Member projects remain the largest outstanding issues for the government operations subcommittees.

Lt. Gov. Jeanette Núñez chairs the task force. Members from the Department of Law Enforcement’s computer crime and fusion centers, the Division of Emergency Management and Chief Inspector General’s office also serve on the board alongside the state chief information officer, members appointed by the Senate President and House Speaker and members of the private sector.

Written By

Renzo Downey covers the Florida Legislature for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.

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