S.C. House panel says cyber-security bill is too rushed

  • Posted: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 12:01 a.m.

COLUMBIA — A bill aimed at strengthening cyber-security across state government may be dead for the year, but legislators expect to incorporate the essentials into the state budget.

With less than two weeks remaining in the regular session, the House Ways and Means Committee voted unanimously Tuesday to postpone further debate on the measure. Democrats and Republicans said they are concerned about rushing a bill that creates a new agency and spends untold millions of dollars for years to come.

The committee likely can’t reach agreement on the specifics, much less the full House, said Rep. Jim Merrill, R-Charleston.

Committee members also agreed that they must do something following last fall’s massive hacking of taxpayers’ private data from the Department of Revenue, in which the unencrypted Social Security and bank account numbers of 6.4 million residents and taxpayers were stolen.

Consultants with Deloitte & Touche estimated in a report this month that its recommendations for a statewide cyber-security approach would cost $15 million in the set-up year, then $7.3 million yearly.

The House set aside $25 million in its 2013-14 budget plan, approved in March, to fix the system and pay for additional credit services.

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