‘Idaho Works’: Critical funding for water, wildfire response heads to Gov. Little’s desk

Friday March 15, 2024

Boise, ID – Critical funding for water infrastructure and land management is heading to Governor Brad Little’s desk after passing both legislative bodies this week.

"Idaho must maintain our water sovereignty and not turn out like other western states in the Colorado River Basin, such as California, where the federal government stepped in to supersede the state’s control of its water,” Governor Little said. “These investments build on decades of good work and demonstrate that IDAHO, not the feds, can best determine the fate of our water.”

Governor Little applauded his legislative partners’ support on the following “Idaho Works” budget recommendations:

Senate Bill 1411: Directs $30 million toward improving water infrastructure, adding to the historic more than $1 billion Governor Little and the Legislature have invested into water quantity and quality since 2019.

Senate Bill 1373: Appropriates $1 million to help Idaho farmers improve irrigation systems and water quality through the successful Water Quality Program for Agriculture (WQPA).

Senate Bill 1410: Provides $1 million in bonuses to recruit and retain a strong wildland firefighting workforce at the Idaho Department of Lands. Senate Bill 1410 also strengthens Idaho’s ability to combat and prevent wildfires that threaten life, property, and Idaho lands by directing an additional $17 million into the state Fire Suppression Deficiency Fund.

Senate Bill 1412: Directs $2 million in grants to help farmers, ranchers, dairies, and confined animal feeding operations with environmental improvement programs. This investment will improve soil, water, and air quality in agricultural communities in Idaho.

With the passage of these bills, Governor Little secured 100% of his natural resource budget requests.

“Idaho’s natural resources, especially water, are the foundation of our economic prosperity, outdoor recreation, strong agricultural sector, public health, and overall way of life. I appreciate my legislative partners prioritizing these investments in Idaho’s future,” Governor Little said.