Lawmakers Say Governor’s Settlement Offer Won’t Work

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – Lawmakers say they will still keep talking settlement options with the governor over his lawsuit, but indicated Monday his first offer won’t work.

The governor sued the Legislature earlier this month, saying a special bill dealing with spending unconstitutionally made a number of changes in law. He says the tactic made it more difficult for him to offer changes.

Gov. Brian Schweitzer offered a settlement requiring leading lawmakers to acknowledge the tactic would likely be found unconstitutional, and agree not to do it again.

But members of the Legislative Council say they can’t bind the leaders of the next Legislature convening in January. The council will meet with the governor again in two weeks, but it also hired a law firm Monday to defend the lawsuit.