JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A new commission will evaluate Missouri’s technological infrastructure and identify cybersecurity risks under a bill signed into law Wednesday.
A provision included in SB 49 would establish the Missouri Cybersecurity Commission. The commission will operate under the Department of Public Safety (DPS) and analyze data from various state agencies, schools, and higher education institutions to identify risks and vulnerabilities in Missouri’s cyberinfrastructure. It will be required to file an annual report on its findings with the governor.
Rep. Bill Hardwick sponsored the legislation as a standalone bill this session and attached the language as an amendment, drawing on his experience with technology and cybersecurity in the Missouri National Guard.
“The provisions in this bill give the state a way to focus on identifying where we are vulnerable across the whole of government and in private sector infrastructure and figure out what we can do to be proactive in keeping our state safe,” Hardwick said. “It is my hope the commission will represent a wide cross-section of experts from the government and private industry, and they provide the governor with the information he needs to make sure our state is prepared for future cyber threats of all scales.”
The commission would be made up of nine members, including one person each from the Missouri National Guard, the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), and the Highway Patrol. Members would be appointed by the governor, with no more than five aligned with one political party.
The base of the bill, sponsored by Sen. Justin Brown, prohibits boats from anchoring in a way that obstructs access within 100 feet of a dock without the owner’s permission. Brown said the issue was brought to him by constituents in Camden County and would not interfere with the right to fish off of a dock.
“Unfortunately, a few inconsiderate boaters create problems for others by ignoring common courtesy and basic property rights,” Brown said. “One of the individuals who reached out to my office said they actually found someone camping on their dock. This legislation defines the named offenses as infractions, and gives the Water Patrol authority to issue citations.”
The restriction gained the support of many in the Lake of the Ozarks region: More than 80 witnesses, including realtors and business owners, testified in favor of the bill during its first committee hearing.
Other provisions exempt new cars from safety inspection requirements and allow the permanent registration of water vessels for a higher registration rate.
Cameron Gerber studied journalism at Lincoln University. Prior to Lincoln, he earned an associate’s degree from State Fair Community College. Cameron is a native of Eldon, Missouri.
Contact Cameron at firstname.lastname@example.org.