TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX)-Flags across Idaho have been lowered in honor of former Governor Phil Batt who passed away Saturday. Gov. Brad Little made the announcement on Saturday of Gov. Batt's passing and ordered flags to be lowered. Gov. Batt passed away peacefully at his home on his birthday at the age of 96 and a notable day for the state.

Governor Phil Batt was the epitome of a public servant, having served as Governor, Lt. Governor, and Senator. His legacy is distinguished by his unrelenting human rights leadership, determined fiscal conservatism, and enduring love of Idaho." said Gov. Little. “It is fitting Phil Batt was born and passed on ‘Idaho Day,’ the celebration of the anniversary of the day President Abraham Lincoln created the Idaho Territory in 1863. Teresa and I send our love and condolences to his wife Francee, his children, and many, many friends.

The Associated Press reports Gov. Batt was the first Republican elected governor in 28 years in 1994. Before that the farmer by trade was elected to the House of Representatives and state Senate. He is credited with creating the Idaho Human Rights Commission and an advocate for farmworkers. He also worked to create a plan to remove toxic nuclear waste from the state.

Colleagues and other Idaho leaders issued statements on the passing of Gov. Batt:

Phil Batt was a close personal friend to both Vicki and me and one of my earliest mentors in the State Senate. He was a titan in Idaho politics and cared deeply about our great state." said U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho).  "From his long and distinguished service in the Idaho Senate to his years as Governor, Phil set the course and is respoonsible for the Idaho we know and love today. He will be missed.4

Baucom, Melanie (Crapo)
Baucom, Melanie (Crapo)

Idaho Governor Phil Batt will be remembered as a strong and thoughtful leader, dedicated to the people of Idaho and advancing human rights in the state.  His longstanding friendship and mentorship to me helped guide my professional and personal life." said U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho). "Back in 1981, I was asked and agreed to serve as the co-chair of the Bonneville County campaign for Phil Batt when he began his first run for governor.  And I have learned much from him over these last four decades.  As Idahoans remember him, much will be said about his legacy to Idaho and the debt of gratitude that we owe to him.  His was a life well-lived, and he will have my unending admiration and respect.  My prayers are with his wife, Francee, his family and all who were impacted by his great leadership in the state of Idaho.

Flags will remain at half staff until the internment of Gov. Batt, which will be announced later. He will lie in state at the Capitol building so the public can pay their respects.

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