HELENA — Gov. Brian Schweitzer is looking into what a state government shutdown would look like even as he continued talking to Republican leaders about a budget deal.
Schweitzer says he spoke to House Speaker Mike Milburn and Senate President Jim Peterson on Monday as the Republican leaders were finalizing their budget plan in each chamber. Schweitzer has made it clear he may veto the bill or send back a proposed rewrite.
The governor also is asking the attorney general to define which state services would be deemed essential if no budget deal is reached by July 1, when the current budget period ends.
Schweitzer says he is not sure if the National Guard could cover the prisons or if workers there could remain on duty. And he needs legal clarification in many other areas, from the Montana Highway Patrol to the National Guard.