Lt. Governor Bedke Urges Idahoans to Prepare for Federal REAL ID Act Deadline

BOISE, Idaho – Lt. Governor Scott Bedke is urging Idahoans to prepare for the federal REAL ID Act deadline on May 7, 2025, exactly one year from today. Starting next May, any U.S. traveler that is 18 years and older will need a REAL ID, such as an Idaho Star Card, U.S. Passport, military identification, or other form of federally accepted ID, to board commercial flights and enter certain federal facilities.

With only 49% of Idahoans currently holding a Star Card, Lt. Governor Scott Bedke joined the Idaho Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) today at the Boise Airport to remind Idaho residents to get their Star Card before the upcoming deadline.

“The federal deadline for the REAL ID will be here before we know it, so to avoid any disruptions to your future travel plans, now is the time to get your Star Card from your local DMV,” said Lt. Governor Bedke.

To get a Star Card, which is an Idaho Driver’s License or ID card, Idahoans will need to provide documents to verify their identity, social security number, and Idaho residency. These documents include a birth certificate, social security card, and two proofs of residency, such as a mortgage statement or current utility bill.

To streamline the application process, residents can use the “Add the Star” tool on the Idaho DMV’s website (https://itd.idaho.gov/starcard/) or call or visit their county’s DMV office for further assistance.

Rural Communities are the backbone of Idaho

FORT HALL, Idaho – More than 88% of Idaho is classified as rural, and these local communities and businesses are the backbone of our state. Lt. Governor Scott Bedke recently attended the Idaho Rural Success Summit in eastern Idaho, an annual event that is designed to offer resources to help the Gem State’s rural communities thrive.

Lt. Governor Bedke, along with Governor Brad Little, provided opening remarks to the attending community members, businesses, and stakeholders. The Rural Success Summit held key presentations and panels that focused on empowering rural business, promoting community health, and supporting critical industry development.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to have both been able to attend and speak at this year’s Idaho Rural Success Summit,” said Lt. Governor Bedke. “The event showcases the ways Idahoans come together to support rural communities and businesses alike. I look forward to seeing this event continue for years to come as we help rural Idaho thrive.”

The third annual Rural Success Summit provided a platform for community leaders and business owners to share their experiences and knowledge to help every Idaho community succeed.

Idaho Needs Long-Term PLan for Water Management

BOISE, Idaho – Lt. Governor Scott Bedke will be attending the Ada County Board of Commissioners’ Treasure Valley Water Summit today to discuss the importance of long-term planning for water management in Idaho.

Planning ahead for the Gem State’s water usage is essential due to the state’s unique environmental and demographic challenges. Idaho faces a growing demand for water resources driven by agricultural, industrial, and residential needs. With a significant portion of Idaho’s economy reliant on agriculture, ensuring sustainable water availability is crucial for maintaining productivity and livelihoods. Moreover, as the state’s population continues to grow, particularly in urban centers like Boise and Coeur d’Alene, the pressure on water resources will intensify. Long-term planning allows for the development of strategies that balance these competing demands, ensuring that future generations have access to adequate and clean water supplies.

“Delaying and pushing decisions into the future will inevitably limit our choices. Look no farther than the conditions found Utah, Arizona, and southern Nevada to understand the importance of the need to act now to plan for our water future,” said Lt. Governor Bedke.

Lt. Governor Bedke thanks Ada County Commissioner Tom Dayley for bringing forward this critical issue today at the Treasure Valley Water Summit, and the entire Board of Commissioners for proactively addressing Idaho’s water needs.

Lt. Governor Bedke Releases Statement on the Death of Idaho Sheriff Deputy

BOISE, Idaho – Lt. Governor Scott Bedke has issued the following statement after the murder of Ada County Sheriff’s Deputy Tobin Bolter:

“Sarah and I are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Ada County Sheriff’s Deputy, Tobin Bolter, who was killed in the line of duty in a senseless act of violence. We extend our heartfelt condolences to Deputy Bolter’s family, friends, and all members of the Ada County Sheriff’s Office during this difficult time. The loss of a dedicated, courageous, and young officer is a loss for all of us.

Our law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day to serve and protect our communities, and the death of Deputy Bolter is a stark reminder of the dangers they face. Violence against our law enforcement officers is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in Idaho.

I ask my fellow Idahoans to join me in expressing gratitude for the service and sacrifice of Deputy Bolton and to stand in solidarity with our law enforcement community as we mourn this terrible loss. May we never forget the bravery and dedication of law enforcement throughout our state and this great nation, and may his legacy inspire us to work towards a safer and more peaceful society for all.”

The Governor’s Office has ordered U.S. flags and State of Idaho flags to be lowered immediately to half-staff to honor Deputy Bolter. Flags shall be flown at half-staff until the day following Deputy Bolter’s memorial service, in accordance with Idaho Code 67-820.

Lt. Governor Bedke Condemns Hate Incident in North Idaho

Coeur d’Alene, IDAHO – Lt. Governor Scott Bedke has issued the following statement regarding an incident of hate and racism in Coeur d’Alene involving the University of Utah women’s basketball program during the NCAA March Madness Tournament:

“I am disgusted and angry about the disturbing events in Coeur d’Alene that were directed against athletes, students, and visitors to our state. This foul incident caused by a few is inexcusable and does not in any way reflect Idaho’s shared values. Idaho does not tolerate racism, hate, or bigotry in any form.

I offer my full support to Governor Brad Little, Coeur d’Alene Mayor Jim Hammond, and our local leaders in their continuing efforts to eliminate hate, racism, and bigotry from our communities. We will not stand for discrimination.”

Lt. Governor Scott Bedke on the Finding of Quagga Mussel Larvae in the Snake River

TWIN FALLS, Idaho – Lt. Governor Scott Bedke issued the following statement in response to the Idaho State Department of Agriculture’s (ISDA) confirmation that quagga mussel larvae have been found in the Centennial Waterfront Park area of the Snake River:

“I am disappointed to learn that this invasive species has infiltrated the Snake River. This is a major issue for not just the surrounding area but the entire state. If left unchecked, this can negatively affect our water quality, majorly impact the Snake River’s ecosystem, clog our irrigation pipes, and take over our ship and boat hulls. I applaud the Department of Agriculture’s early detection and quick response to this issue and have faith in their action plan to contain – and potentially treat or remove – these mussels. I urge everyone to adhere to the Department of Agriculture’s rapid response plan so we can get this serious situation under control.”

To read ISDA’s full statement on the finding of quagga mussel larvae, follow this link: ISDA confirms quagga mussel larvae in the Snake River – Idaho State Department of Agriculture

Governor’s Water Summit reveals success stories, challenges in looking at surface and ground water statewide

Boise, ID – Governor Brad Little and other Idaho leaders are applauding the success of the first Water Summit of the Governor’s administration, which took place Monday in the Idaho Capitol.

Governor Little, Lt. Governor Scott Bedke, and Idaho Water Resource Board Chairman Jeff Raybould gave the audience a strategic look into the status of the state’s precious water resources during the Governor’s Water Summit.

“Idaho must maintain our water sovereignty and not turn out like California or Colorado, where the federal government stepped in to address their water supply problems. Our historic investments in water since I took office just under five years ago are setting us up for success, but we have a lot of work to do. I appreciate all the participants in our first Water Summit for their dedication to working together to create Idaho solutions to Idaho’s water supply,” Governor Little said. “Our policies in Idaho demonstrate that we are true conservationists. People are moving here because of what Idaho looks like, and how we manage water is going to be incredibly important going forward.”

Meeting in front of a full house of approximately 250 people in the Idaho State Capitol Lincoln Auditorium, including numerous state legislators and hundreds online, Governor Little and Lt. Governor Bedke heard about many challenges facing the state’s groundwater resources where they are in decline. The Palouse-Basin Aquifer, the Mountain Home Aquifer, and the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer (ESPA) were all highlighted in that discussion.

Governor Little noted that about $1 billion has been recommended and approved by the Idaho Legislature for water infrastructure projects since he took office. Through his “Leading Idaho” and “Idaho First” plans, the Idaho Water Resource Board (IWRB) has received $450 million to modernize the state’s water infrastructure statewide through grants, loans, and strategic investments in water sustainability projects.

The state’s historic investment in modern water infrastructure will help stretch water supplies with efficiency savings and water quality improvements, the Governor said. Some funds are going to water projects that restore aquifer stability and provide for sustainable water use, Raybould noted.

“Sustainability is our watchword,” Lt. Governor Bedke said. “This is all about making sure we have adequate water supplies for Idaho’s future. Our future success is dependent on water.”

On the positive side, the water supply in the state’s most populous region, the Treasure Valley, is stable, officials said. Lining six miles of the New York Canal utilizing local, state, and federal funding is expected to save approximately 29,000 acre-feet of water per year – the equivalent of flooding 29,000 acres of land to the depth of one foot. Officials also heard about water-conservation efforts in the Avimor community, north of Eagle, that are cutting residential water use in half.

Idaho also is a national leader in Cloud Seeding efforts that increase snowfall and mountain snowpack in the winter. Idaho’s Collaborative Cloud Seeding Program involving Idaho Power Co., IWRB, and water users has added an average of 1.2 million acre-feet of water supply per year in the Upper Snake, Boise, and the Big Wood and Payette River basins, Idaho Power officials said.

Being among the fastest-growing states in America adds to the state’s water challenges, Raybould said. “Clearly, we’ve been discovered,” he said. “That creates even more challenges for us, especially with water supply and infrastructure. We need to make sure we conserve our water resources the best we can while operating within the bounds of the Prior Appropriation Doctrine.”

Raybould refers to Idaho water law, which gives priority to water users who have the most senior rights or, first in time, first in right.

While tension between senior and junior users has been intense in places like the Wood River Valley and Eastern Snake Plain, the tone between water users was civil throughout the day at the Governor’s Water Summit. Case studies of water issues in Idaho communities showed a broad diversity of water users are working together to solve problems.

More discussions and regional meetings may be held in the future to discuss water topics, Governor Little said.

“This is just a starting point in the discussions we need to have. This is not about new policies but managing our resources in the best way we can. We are the true conservationists,” he said.

Overall, Little said the state’s water management should ensure:

  • A sustainable water supply for urban and rural users
  • Water quality is being improved on an ongoing basis
  • Idaho’s sovereignty over its water resources is maintained at all times

The agenda, meeting materials, attendance summary and video of the summit are available at https://idwr.idaho.gov/iwrb/meetings/board-meeting-materials/.

Lt. Governor Bedke applauds the passage of Launch in the Idaho Senate to train Idaho students for Idaho jobs

BOISE, Idaho – Following the passage of House Bill 24, otherwise known as “Launch”, in the Idaho Senate today, Lt. Governor Scott Bedke issued the following statement in support of Governor Brad Little’s initiative to provide training for Idaho students for in-demand careers.

“Today we made a great investment in our students’ futures. Launch will give our next generation a sturdy platform in which they can further their education and learn new skills in whatever avenue they choose. A steady labor force starts with a proper education, and we need to continue to prioritize our students’ options to support Idaho’s industry and economy as the fastest growing state in the nation. I am proud of our elected leaders for putting Idaho’s students first.”

The Idaho Senate also passed the Launch trailer bill, Senate Bill 1167, which now heads to the Idaho House for approval.

Lt. Governor Scott Bedke on the Passing of Former Governor Phil Batt

BOISE, Idaho – Lt. Governor Scott Bedke issued the following statement on the passing of former Idaho Governor Phil Batt:

“Governor Phil Batt was the embodiment of a dedicated public servant. A man of fairness and decency, Gov. Batt served our community with a commitment to protect our lands, fight for human rights, and ensure fiscal responsibility. While his time in office predated my own, Gov. Batt was there when my political career first began; he appointed me to a federal task force that worked to keep Idaho a viable and influential voice in the lands process to uphold the beauty and wonders of our great state.

Sarah and I send our love and condolences to his family, friends, and all those who had the pleasure of knowing him.”

Lieutenant Governor Scott Bedke Applauds Governor’s Priorities

Boise, Idaho – Lieutenant Governor Scott Bedke issued the following statement after Governor Brad Little’s 2023 State of the State and Budget Address today.

“Working together, our citizens, businesses, and state leaders have positioned Idaho to become the strongest state in the country,” said Lt. Governor Bedke. “I agree with Governor Little that our combined efforts are leading Idaho in the right direction. We need to continue to stay on course and prioritize decisions that will benefit Idahoans not just today but for generations to come. I am proud of what we have accomplished together for our state, and I look forward to working with the Governor and Legislature as we strive to further strengthen public schools, infrastructure, businesses, families, and our economy. Let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work.”