Fate of cybersecurity bill leads to war of words - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Fate of cybersecurity bill leads to war of words at state Capitol

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- The fate of a bill designed to protect Kentuckians from cyber attacks has led to a war of words between two of Frankfort's most powerful politicians.

Democratic State Auditor Adam Edelen is publicly calling out a Republican senator, accusing him of holding up a cybersecurity bill because of partisan politics.

An angry Adam Edelen opened up with both barrels, as he blasted the lack of Senate action on HB 5.

"We can't even get a damn hearing," said Edelen.

The bill would require government agencies to increase cybersecurity protections and notify the public when there is a breach. It easily passed the House a month ago, but has not been scheduled for a hearing in the Republican Senate.

"I'm here because I'm deeply frustrated. And I think the people of Kentucky are going to be deeply frustrated when they find that such a common-sense piece of legislation is hung up for what appears to be only political considerations," said Edelen.

Edelen places the blame on Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer. He accuses Thayer of holding up the bill because Edelen is considering a run for governor.

"If this were the Adam Edelen for Governor bill, the notion that we would have almost 40 Republican co-sponsors for it would be rather extraordinary. I don't think that's the case," he said.

Thayer denies any political motivation.

"He just needs to calm down, relax, maybe take a deep breath, and let the process work," he said.

Thayer says the Senate has a lot of bills to consider, and HB 5 will go through the same process as any other.

"But I can tell you one thing. We're not going to be bullied by Adam Edelen," he said.

Edelen says he tried to work through normal channels, but he says he's had enough, calling Thayer the "chief obstructionist."

"I hope this will get somebody's attention," said Edelen.

"I think his vitriolic response has diminished his stature," countered Thayer.

Thayer says he does not know whether HB 5 will ever get a Senate hearing. He says, right now, it is simply not a priority.

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