FRANKFORT – A Senate committee Monday night unanimously approved a cyber-security bill that Auditor Adam Edelen had complained was being blocked in the Senate because of political reasons.
The Senate State and Local Government Committee changed House Bill 5 before approving it and sending it to the full Senate. Chairman Joe Bowen, R-Owensboro, told reporters that the amended bill had the support of Edelen.
Edelen, frequently mentioned as a possible Democratic candidate for governor in 2015, said in an email that he appreciated Bowen “clearing the logjam on House Bill 5 and moving this important cyber-security bill forward.”
House Bill 5 would require most state and local government agencies to notify citizens of any electronic breaches of personal information. Almost 30 groups have endorsed the bill, including AARP of Kentucky, the Bluegrass Institute, Kentucky State Police and Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.
Bowen said the biggest change the Senate committee made in its 21-page substitute to the House bill was giving agencies 72 hours to notify the state police commissioner, auditor and attorney general of a security breach. The original bill gave agencies 24 hours.
The measure would take effect on Jan. 1, 2015.
Earlier this month, Edelen held a news conference to say he was “deeply frustrated” that the Republican-controlled Senate was not acting on his legislation, which garnered nearly unanimous support in the Democratic-led House.
He particularly was upset with Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, who had dubbed the measure “the Adam Edelen for governor bill.”
Thayer at the time said the bill would rise or fall on its own merits. He also said politics had nothing to do with the Senate’s handling of the bill.
Thayer, who is on the committee that unanimously approved it Monday, was eager to put the measure on the “consent calendar” when it is considered in the full Senate. A bill on the consent calendar means it can be acted upon at the same time with other measures without debate.