Brad Little announces flags to be lowered to honor former Idaho Gov. Phil Batt

Batt, who served as the state’s 29th governor from 1995 to 1999, died on his 96th birthday on March 4

By: - March 4, 2023 4:18 pm
daho State Capitol building

The Idaho State Capitol building on January 11, 2023. (Otto Kitsinger for Idaho Capital Sun)

Idaho Gov. Brad Little announced in a Saturday press released that he has ordered the immediate lowering of U.S. and state of Idaho flags to honor former Gov. Phil Batt, who died at his home today, on his 96th birthday.

Phil Batt
Phil Batt served as Idaho governor, lieutenant governor and state legislator during his long political career. (Courtesy of the National Governors Association)

In the press release, Little said Batt was “the epitome of a public servant,” who served as Idaho’s 29th governor from 1995 to 199, and who also served the Gem State as lieutenant governor and state senator.

“His legacy is distinguished by his unrelenting human rights leadership, determined fiscal conservatism, and enduring love of Idaho,” Little said in the press release. 

“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,” Little continued in the release.

Flags will remain lowered until his day of interment, which will be announced at a later date, according to the release.

The body of Batt will lie in state at the Capitol in downtown Boise, and additional details will be provided from the governor’s office to inform the public how they can pay their respects, the release said.

Other Idaho officials have also begun to share their memories of Batt and condolences to his family.

“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,” Idaho Lt. Gov. Scott Bedke said in a press release. “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.”

U.S. Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, said Batt was a close personal friend to him and his wife, Vicki. Batt was one of Risch’s earliest mentors while Risch served in the state Senate, he said in the release.

“He was a titan in Idaho politics and cared deeply about our great state,” Risch said in the release. “From his long and distinguished service in the Idaho Senate to his years as Governor, Phil set the course and is responsible for the Idaho we know and love today. He will be missed.”

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Christina Lords
Christina Lords

Christina Lords is the editor-in-chief of the Idaho Capital Sun and has been a professional journalist covering local and state government since graduating from the University of Idaho in 2009. A Pocatello native, Lords is a fifth-generation Idahoan who served as a reporter at the Moscow-Pullman Daily News and the Post Register in Idaho Falls and served as assistant editor for the Idaho Press in Nampa. She also led the Idaho Statesman in Boise for two years before turning to nonprofit journalism.