Settlement Talks Stall Between Governor, Lawmakers

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – Settlement talks over Gov. Brian Schweitzer’s lawsuit alleging the Legislature unconstitutionally passed a major bill stalled during a testy meeting.

The governor sued the Legislature last month. He says House Bill 676 wrongly made a number of changes in the law — and made it more difficult for him to line-item veto spending or offer amendments to the package.

Schweitzer wants lawmakers to acknowledge that bill unconstitutionally dealt with more than one subject, and promise not to do it again.

Two leading lawmakers who met with the governor Tuesday said they won’t agree the bill was unconstitutional.

Schweitzer says both sides should simply ask for the case to be taken straight to the Montana Supreme Court in order to resolve it quickly.

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