Homeland Security

Homeland Security Task Force: Policy Prescriptions to Address Economic and Health Care Challenges in the Face of COVID-19

The Homeland Security Task Force summarizes specific public policy pertaining to this COVID-19 crisis.

The response to the Coronavirus outbreak has been locally executed, state managed, and federally supported. Because it is state led, state governments have employed a diverse range of solutions. Some states have opted to issue “stay-at-home” orders, while other states are permitting much freer movement while taking necessary precautions. Regardless of whether a state is taking a strict approach or a “more free” approach, the federal government is providing financial support, resources, coordination efforts, and more.

Policymakers can access some of these tools through a number of websites, including:

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). CISA has a number of resources, including a Coronavirus landing page, helping state policymakers identify critical infrastructure workers, critical infrastructure sectors, and more. Recently, CISA Director Christopher Krebs issued a memo designed to help states identify sectors they should deem “essential.”
This memo is based on Presidential Policy Directive (PPD) 21 and the work the Department of Homeland Security and CISA did in response to the PPD. Most of the work, while bearing fruit now, can be found on the Infrastructure Security Division’s main webpage.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is assisting state, local, and tribal governments “with the health and safety actions they take on behalf of the American public.” This means FEMA helps ensure that governments of all levels receive medical supplies and any other needed aid. FEMA is also providing support by managing a rumor control page.

Finally, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Center for Disease Control are the primary agencies leading the response to the virus. Together they have created a one-stop website, www.coronavirus.com for people and policymakers alike. The site contains a large volume of useful information.

The Coronavirus effects every level of government. States must lead, taking an example from the federal government and empowering local governments to respond in proportion to the risk. But no response should violate basic constitutional or civil rights. The resources from the federal government provide a framework for balancing health and safety with those rights.

Policy prescriptions developed by our members can be found in ALEC Connect.


In Depth: Homeland Security

Cybersecurity Governments, agencies, private sector companies, and others are all at risk for suffering some form of computer related attack. Hospitals have fallen prey to ransomware attacks. Foreign actors gained access to the Office of Personnel Management’s database. What standards should state and local governments employ regarding proper cybersecurity practices? …

+ Homeland Security In Depth