S. 1846 would authorize the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to continue to coordinate with state and local governments to enhance the cybersecurity of their information systems. Under the bill, the DHS National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) would continue to provide assistance to state and local governments including conducting cybersecurity exercises, providing training, and notifying them of cybersecurity threats. The bill also would authorize DHS to implement an initiative to help state and local governments detect and prevent malicious network traffic on nonfederal information systems. Those governments could choose not to participate in that initiative.
The NCCIC is already performing most of the coordination activities authorized in S. 1846. Implementing the voluntary initiative would require hiring additional cybersecurity advisors, deploying sensors to nonfederal networks, and sharing classified information on cybersecurity threats with state and local partners. Using information from DHS, CBO expects that implementing the provision would require, on average, 15 full-time equivalent employees in each year beginning in 2020, at an average annual rate of about $150,000 per employee. On the basis of similar programs, CBO also expects that deploying sensors to state and local governments and sharing classified cybersecurity threats at an unclassified level would cost $20 million. In total, CBO estimates that enacting S. 1846 would cost $31 million over the 2019-2024 period. Such spending would be subject to availability of appropriated funds.