Governor Bullock Vetoes Whistle-Blower Bill
Governor Steve Bullock brought out his veto pen again recently, this time vetoing House Bill 202, which would have expanded whistle-blower protections in Montana. Representative Kirk Wagoner of Montana City says he sponsored the bill after hearing complaints from state employees.
"It was brought about by a lot of state employees coming to me and saying that they couldn't say anything to me about certain matters of public concern," Wagoner said. "Obviously, I disagree, they should be able to come to me and tell me anything they want if the public is concerned."
Wagoner says the veto may not be the end of the bill, but the bill may be replaced by the legislature.
"I have the veto letter here and, it's interesting, they say that [HB 202] is awfully broad, but it was purposely made broad so that anything that is of public concern that a whistle-blower wants to bring to the legislator, they should be able to," Wagoner said. "There is an opportunity to override [the veto], but we've got a follow-up bill, and we're hoping the Governor will sign that one, it's a little more specific to waste, fraud and abuse."
The second whistle-blower bill is House Bill 208, which will receive a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee today.