Kathleen Ronayne and Jonathan J. Cooper, Associated Press
UPDATED 5:23 p.m.
(AP) — California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Tuesday creating an office of elections cybersecurity to combat cyber threats and false information online.
It was one of more than a dozen bills Brown signed while lawmakers debated hundreds as they run up against a Friday deadline to finish their business for the year. At the top of the Assembly's agenda was a proposal to expand California's reliance on renewable energy.
The creation of the cybersecurity office comes as federal and state officials work to beef up election security in the wake of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
California's state budget includes $2 million annually for the new office.
It will work with state, local and federal agencies to share information about cyber threats, develop emergency preparedness plans and recommend ways to protect election infrastructure.
The office would also be in charge of counteracting false information about the electoral process online, such as the date elections are being held or how to register to vote.
During debate earlier this year, some Republican lawmakers said they worried the office would suppress speech. Democratic supporters of the bill, meanwhile, said it would target false information about the voting process and not regulate political speech.
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