Bedke elected VP of National Conference of State Legislatures. House Speaker Scott Bedke (R-Idaho) has been elected vice president of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), a bipartisan organization serving the nation’s 7,383 state lawmakers and legislative staff.

Speaker Bedke assumed the office of NCSL vice president on Oct. 12, at the Fall Executive Committee meeting.

The Idaho speaker will serve one year as vice president, ascend to president-elect the following year, and become NCSL’s president at the Legislative Summit in 2021. NCSL’s presidency alternates between parties every year. Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R) is NCSL’s current president and Hawaii House Speaker Scott Saiki (D) is president-elect.

“I have become increasingly impressed with the leadership NCSL has shown in developing programs to enhance our effectiveness as legislators,” Bedke said. “I am eager to contribute to NCSL’s continued success and shape its future direction.”

Idaho Gov. Brad Little said he is confident in Bedke’s ability to serve in the leadership position. “Scott is a natural leader who possesses the temperament and will to achieve consensus on the most difficult, divisive issues facing our state,” Little said. “He is truly the greatest of public servants.”

Bedke has served in the Idaho House of Representatives for 10 terms and has served as speaker of the House since December 2012. He has been an active member of NCSL, serving on the Executive Committee and various subcommittees before running to be the NCSL vice president. 

Bedke is a fourth-generation rancher in Oakley, Idaho.  He graduated from Oakley High School and received his bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University. 

NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.

  

Governor’s Salmon Workgroup to hold meeting in Twin Falls. Gov. Little’s Salmon Workgroup will meet in Twin Falls Oct. 29 – 30. The public meeting will be held at the Herrett Center for Arts and Science at the College of Southern Idaho located at 315 Falls Avenue Twin Falls, in the Rick Allen Room.

The meeting will focus on hydropower operations, flow augmentation, and policy discussions to meet salmon and steelhead recovery goals. The agenda and call-in number for residents who cannot attend the meeting in person, along with additional information about the workgroup is available on the Governor’s Office of Species Conservation website: https://species.idaho.gov/governors-salmon-workgroup/.

The public is invited to provide comments to the workgroup. Each member of the public will be limited to three minutes, as time permits. Comments will be taken on a first come, first served basis. The workgroup will take written comments, all comments will be distributed to the workgroup. Comments will also be accepted by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Little directed the Office of Species Conservation to establish a workgroup dedicated to addressing salmon issues. The workgroup held meetings in Boise on June 28, Salmon on July 30 - 31, and Lewiston on September 20; bringing together diverse stakeholders to collaboratively develop a unified policy recommendation to assist Governor Little as he shapes Idaho’s policy on salmon recovery.

The workgroup will hold several additional meetings throughout Idaho to provide opportunities to share perspectives on salmon policy. The upcoming meeting in Twin Falls will be the fourth in the series; the next meeting being in Boise on Nov. 19. Additional meetings will be scheduled for 2020. Those dates will be released in the coming weeks.

Democrats defend diversity and inclusion programs. The Boise State Young Democrats and the Boise State College Republicans held “The Future of American Higher Education” panel discussion last Tuesday. Senate Assistant Minority Leader Sen. Cherie Buckner-Webb (D), House Minority Leader Rep. Mat Erpelding (D), Rep. Barbara Ehardt (R), and Rep. Bryan Zollinger (R) discussed diversity and inclusion programs in higher education in Idaho.

Rep. Erpelding explained the importance of participating in the panel. “Boise State students put this event together because they have a deep appreciation for diversity and inclusion programs on their campus,”  she said. “Many of the students who showed up benefit from programs that ensure every student has the opportunity to succeed. Boise State students want a stable economic future created by access to a diverse and inclusive community that provides a high quality of life. Senator Buckner-Webb and I are proud to stand up for the programs that help students to achieve those goals.” 

The discussion came after a letter sent by 28 Idaho Republicans (including Rep. Ehardt and Zollinger) to Idaho universities criticizing diversity and inclusion programs. Idaho Democrats also sent a letter to Idaho universities urging them to maintain a safe and welcoming campus for all students.

Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission (IGEM) Investment Subcommittee announces October meeting. The Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission (IGEM) Investment Subcommittee will meet Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in the Clearwater Conference Room at Idaho Commerce, 700 W. State Street, Boise.

Idaho Commerce manages the Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission (IGEM) Grant Program which includes $950,000 in appropriated funds by the Idaho State Legislature. IGEM funds research between university and industry partners geared toward commercialization initiatives. The IGEM Investment Subcommittee, comprised of both IGEM Council and non-council members, provides strategic direction and recommendations to the IGEM Council.   

During this meeting, the IGEM Investment Subcommittee will review ten (10) applications and provide recommendations to the IGEM Council. Click here for the complete meeting agenda.

This IGEM meeting is open to the public. There will be an opportunity for public comments toward the end of the meeting. To learn more about IGEM, visit http://igem.idaho.gov 

Governor Little’s public schedule this week

MONDAY, October 28, 2019

Governor Little will welcome elementary school students during the Red Ribbon Week Rally on the Capitol steps at 12 p.m.

WEDNESDAY, October 30, 2019

Governor Little will read a proclamation for the 35th anniversary of the Idaho Foodbank at their headquarters, located at 3562 S. Tk Ave in Boise, at 11:30 a.m.