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Bullock vetoes 6 bills, including bison measure

HELENA — Gov. Steve Bullock has vetoed six bills, including a proposal to restrict bison relocation in the state and another that would end same-day voter registration.

The anti-bison measure, House Bill 396, would have required all future bison relocations to be approved by county commissioners in the county where the potential moved is planned. In a letter to Republican leadership, Bullock said the measure wasn't "sound public policy" and would interfere with already established laws that manage wildlife and control disease.

The Democratic governor vetoed House Bill 30, the measure designed to end same-day voter registration, because he said some voters count on registering on Election Day so they can cast a ballot.

House Bill 30 is similar to a Republican-backed referendum that caused uproar earlier in the session when Democrats attempted to block passage of the bill. Senate Democrats said the use of referendums was sidestepping the legislative process, but the referendum passed both houses and will appear on the ballot for voter approval in 2014.

Bullock also rejected Senate Bill 366, which would have eliminated term limits for the Environmental Quality Council. Currently, 12 legislators, four private citizens and one appointee of the governor serve on the council for a maximum of six years.

Bullock opted not to sign Senate Bill 43, which aimed to put in place tighter regulations on the Montana Development Center. The measure will become law without the Bullock's signature.

Three other measures were among the governor's vetoes Monday:

  • Senate Bill 147 would have restricted local governments' authority to review a subdivision's effect on agricultural operations.
  • House Bill 162 would have required the state to offer employees the option of a high-deductible health insurance plan and a health savings account.
  • House Bill 522 would have restricted state cooperation with the federal government regarding the detainment of prisoners.


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