HELENA — Gov. Greg Gianforte’s vetoes of eight bills after the 2021 Legislature adjourned have been upheld, as a poll of state lawmakers failed to override the vetoes.
The vetoed bills include several that would have created new studies or commissions, such as a study of wine-making in Montana; a bill creating a new tax credit meant to encourage construction of low-income housing; and a bill to expand the membership of the state Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission.
On all but one of the polls, the vote to override the veto didn’t come close to the necessary two-thirds of both the Senate and House.
But on House Bill 277, which would have required state agencies to produce strategic plans and undergo an annual performance review, the override failed by a single vote in the House – 66 House members voted to override and 39 senators did, too.
It takes 67 votes in the House and 34 in the Senate to override a veto.
In his veto message of HB277, Gianforte said it would have created unnecessary bureaucracy and duplicated efforts by his administration to review agency regulations.
Veto-override polls of all legislators are conducted by the secretary of state when a bill is vetoed after the Legislature adjourns and if, on the bill’s final votes, at least two-thirds of the entire Legislature supported it.
The other bills whose veto-override votes failed are:
· HB158, which would have created a study commission to review the state’s response to Covid-19 and related statute and rule suspensions. Only 34 House members and 19 Senate members voted to override.
· HB397, which would have established state tax credits to encourage construction of workforce housing. Twenty-nine House members and 20 senators voted to override.
· HB522, which would have created a Montana military strategic and economic task force. Forty-eight House members and 25 senators voted to override.
· HB688, an interim study of wine-making regulations in Montana. Thirty-six House members and 23 senators voted to override.
· HB691, to establish requirements for crisis response in the developmental-disability system. Thirty House members and 24 senators voted to override.
· Senate Bill 231, which would have exempted family-transfer parcels of land from certain environmental review. Twenty-one House members and 13 senators voted to override.
· SB306, which would have expanded the FWP Commission from five to seven members and required at least three members to be agricultural landowners. Twenty-two House members and 12 senators voted to override.