Senate budget bill moves cybersecurity operations to different agency
Image via AP.

Cybersecurity chip
'We thought that was a better fit for that particular silo in cybersecurity.'

All of Florida’s cybersecurity operations would move out of the Department of Management Services (DMS) and into the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) under a bill passed by the Senate as part of its budget.

The bill (SB 2508) transfers “all positions, duties, functions, records, existing contracts, administrative authority, administrative rules, and unexpended balances of appropriations, allocations and other public funds” from the Cybersecurity Operations Center to DMS.

“We thought that was a better fit for that particular silo in cybersecurity,” Senate budget chief Doug Broxson, a Gulf Breeze Republican, told reporters last week. “We think it’s just a (good government) move to put that in their silo.”

The bill unanimously passed the Senate on Monday.

Broxson said the bill wasn’t a sign the chamber is displeased with the work of State Chief Information Officer Jamie Grant, a former Republican House member who has led the state’s information technology offices under DMS since 2020.

“It’s very complicated what we’ve challenged them to do,” Broxson said. “He’s very busy doing other things as part of that budget and this will assist him in fulfilling his goal.”

The bill would also move the Chief Information Security Officer, Jeremy Rodgers, into the FDLE, but keep Grant in DMS. Agencies would also be required to conduct comprehensive cybersecurity risk assessments every year instead of every three years.

Broxson added that he’ll “wait and see” whether Gov. Ron DeSantis and House leaders will back the idea.

FDLE is an agency with Cabinet-level oversight, meaning DeSantis shares oversight responsibility with the Attorney General, Chief Financial Officer and the Agriculture Commissioner, as opposed to DMS, where DeSantis is solely responsible.

House Speaker Paul Renner, a Palm Coast Republican, said the issue wasn’t on his radar but said he’s open to hearing out the Senate.

“I know that’s where the Senate is and so it’s going to be part of the conversation and we’ll listen to what their arguments are,” Renner said. “I have not had a chance to address that with Senate President (Kathleen Passidomo) or any of the leadership folks over there or any Senators.”

Because it is a budget conforming bill, it will be included as part of the formal negotiations between the Senate and House over the final spending plan.

The Senate passed its underlying $113.6 billion budget and related conforming bills Monday. The House is poised to pass its preferred $113 billion spending plan Tuesday.

Gray Rohrer

One comment

  • Bill McSued and Fired several times

    April 3, 2023 at 6:07 pm

    The far right police state is consolidating all it’s power in the governor’s hands. It’s a far right dictatorship. Where is the freedom and liberty Tea Party while all this is happening? Voting for mini Hitler? I thought they were against heavy handed government. Doesn’t get much more heavy handed than Ron’s right wing police state.

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