NewsMontana Legislature


Gov. Bullock issues first outright veto of 2019 Legislature

Posted at 10:33 AM, Mar 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-11 13:46:07-04

HELENA – Governor Steve Bullock on Friday issued his first outright veto of the 2019 Legislature – shooting down a Republican-sponsored bill on health insurance.

The governor vetoed Senate Bill 54, which is sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Fred Thomas (R-Stevensville).

The bill would align state law with new, less-stringent federal regulations on health-insurance arrangements among a group of related businesses, for their employers.

Bullock said the new federal rules make it easier for sellers of these plans to offer sub-standard coverage – and that the state should not be relaxing its oversight.

The sponsor, Senator Thomas, told MTN News Friday that Democrats don’t want to allow more health-insurance options in the private market – because they’re pushing for more government-run coverage.

Thomas’ bill passed on mostly party-line votes in the Legislature, with Republicans in favor.

Bullock’s veto means the bill is dead because Republicans don’t have enough votes to override it.

-Mike Dennison reporting for MTN News