Posted: May 7, 2013 8:16 PM by Marnee Banks - MTN News
(Helena) Montana Governor Steve Bullock (D) has now taken action on all the bills the Legislature passed during the 63rd Legislative session.
In total, he has vetoed 71 pieces of legislation, just seven bills fewer than his predecessor Governor Brian Schweitzer (D).
Bullock admits it was a substantial amount of vetoes totaling about $150 million in spending, but blames the Legislature for forcing his veto pen.
"I had to veto and line item veto to get the spending under control," Bullock said on Tuesday.
According to the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Division, the Legislature passed a budget that was $20 million out of balance, and left $180 million in the state's bank account.
Bullock says deciding what to veto was difficult but he wanted to have a balanced budget and have $300 million left over.
"Montanans expect us to keep a healthy rainy day fund, for when there are problems," Bullock explained.
The Governor says he would have liked to work with the Legislature on compromises but they delivered 200 bills to his desk after they adjourned, which means the Governor was forced to either sign the bills or veto them.
"Montanans expect us to be careful and responsible with our money. They expect us to do what they do with their own households, and that's to not spend more than we take in," Bullock said.