State government budget agreement includes Help America Vote (HAVA) funding, cybersecurity reforms

An agreement has been reached on a comprehensive two-year state government finance bill that funds government operations and makes substantial reforms to state agency contracts, budgeting, information technology, and oversight. The legislation secures Minnesota election integrity with dedicated Help America Vote Act (HAVA) funding along with investments to improve Minnesota’s election equipment. Additionally, the bill secures resources to enhance Minnesota’s ability to respond to other cybersecurity threats. 

The Senate’s bill approves the full federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) account appropriation of $6.595 million to allow Minnesota to modernize, secure, and update the statewide voter registration system and improve election cybersecurity. Additional dollars are dedicated for improvements to Minnesota’s election systems, including funding for popular electronic poll books to speed up and modernize the voter registration process.

“As a former Secretary of State, I understand the threat Minnesota faces when it comes to election cybersecurity,” said Senator Mary Kiffmeyer (R-Big Lake). “It was the goal of the Senate to make sure Minnesota uses our HAVA funds and taxpayer dollars in an effective and responsible manner. Now it’s up to the Secretary of State to use the money to keep our elections safe and secure.” 

The bill also includes substantial investments in cybersecurity, providing $20 million over four years to prepare the state for other potential cyberattacks and ensure the state is taking necessary steps to protect Minnesotans in the future. 

“Senate Republicans make cybersecurity a priority in this bill because there’s nothing more important than protecting the data of all Minnesota citizens,” concluded Senator Kiffmeyer.

The state government budget also funds Minnesota’s constitutional offices and other government boards and commissions including Minnesota IT Services, the Department of Administration, Minnesota Management and Budget, the Department of Revenue, Minnesota Historical Society, and the Humanities Center.