Here are highlights of Gov. Phil Batt’s State of the State message to the Legislature Monday:
Batt suggested that Idaho may want to re-examine, or even do away with, the tenure system for teachers and college professors.
He called for a broad discussion of what types of gambling should or shouldn’t be allowed in Idaho, on or off Indian reservations.
Proposed limits on initiatives to avoid “a California-style ballot in our state.” That proposal drew the loudest applause of the speech.
Announced that he’ll push for comprehensive campaign finance reforms, including limits on contributions, a ban on foreign and out-of-state contributions and a look at how to limit independent expenditures.
Proposed repealing a law that denies driver’s licenses to high school dropouts, because it rarely has been used. Batt allowed the measure to become law without his signature last year.
Said he’ll support allowing Idaho’s environmental audit law to expire. The law, which gives polluters immunity and confidentiality if they file audit reports about their polluting, has raised “serious questions,” Batt said.
Idaho shouldn’t deny basic medical services or school to legal aliens, he said. Some states are moving in that direction.
Proposed a six-month grace period for farmers who are newly required to get worker’s compensation insurance for their employees.
Vowed to continue to work to allow members of minority groups to “reach their full economic potential.”
Proposed eliminating the so-called “marriage penalty” from Idaho’s income tax but raising other income taxes to make up the difference.
Said he’s appointed a committee to come up with new policies for hiring, firing and handling grievances from state employees.
Pledged to work to save ocean-going fish by returning to a more natural river system, but only if Idaho water and electric rates are protected.