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Smith Agrees With Vetoes Of Bills

Rep. Frank Smith, D-Poplar, says he will not vote to overturn any of the nine vetoes that were made by Montana Gov. Gianforte.

“I voted against them to begin with,” Smith explained. “I’m not very fond of any one of them.”

Smith noted that each of the bills were passed by a strong Republican majority.

“Testimony in the Senate and House and in committees didn’t draw to the conclusion of anything that I wanted,” Smith said.

Legislators are being polled regarding their interest of overturning the governor’s vetoes. One of the bills, Senate Bill 306, aimed to expand the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission from five to seven members.

Gianforte noted that he doesn’t support Senate Bill 306 because it was going to require that three of the members must be landowners especially with agricultural products. He wrote that some individuals might not be actually considered landowners.

Senate Bill 231 would impact subdivisions and transfers of family land parcels.

“Anytime you start transferring land, there are so many kinks to it,” Smith said of his opposition to the bill. “I’m against the state doing a lot of zoning regulations. The cities can do it.”

Other bills included House Bill 158 that would create a COVID-19 response state commission. Gianforte said it’s time for the state to move forward and not backwards.

House Bill 397 would establish tax credits for workforce housing. House Bill 688 aims to have an interim study of winemaking. House Bill 277 seeks to require state departments to create strategic plans and annual performance reports. House Bill 522 seeks to create a task force to advocate for the continued presence of military installations in Montana.

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