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Idaho’s Highway Headquarters Named After Former Governor

Benito Baeza

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — There’s a reason why Idaho named the highway department’s headquarters in Boise after former Gov. Phil Batt: He wasn’t shy about calling for funding to maintain the state’s roads and bridges when he thought it was necessary.

At Thursday’s christening ceremony in Boise, Batt made it clear he favors hiking gas tax and other road-related fees again. Batt was governor in 1996, when he successfully championed hiking Idaho’s gas tax to 25 cents, from 21 cents.

Flanked by Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter and former Gov. Cecil Andrus, Batt told a crowd of state officials and lobbyists at what’s now the “Phil Batt Building” that Idaho should raise user fees. Otter lost a battle over roads funding in 2009. But it’s clearly going to be an issue during the 2014 session.

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