MTPR

bison

A Helena judge says Montana's secretary of state does not have the authority to unilaterally override Gov. Steve Bullock's veto of a bison bill.

District Judge Mike McMahon Wednesday issued a preliminary injunction blocking Secretary of State Corey Stapleton from beginning the process of publishing the vetoed bill in state law.

Montana’s Secretary of State Corey Stapleton Tuesday filed a response to a lawsuit by Gov. Steve Bullock over whether Bullock met a veto deadline for a bill passed by the Legislature this year.

Stapleton’s chief legal counsel says Bullock made a mistake and that the law is clear about the outcome of House Bill 132.

A Montana judge has blocked Secretary of State Corey Stapleton from enrolling into state law a bison bill that Gov. Steve Bullock vetoed last month.

District Judge James Reynolds' temporary restraining order was issued Friday afternoon, two days after Stapleton declared the bill had become law because the Democratic governor missed a deadline to turn the veto in to the Republican secretary's office.

Montana legislation seeking to change the definition of “wild bison” is in limbo as the governor and secretary of state disagree over whether the bill has become law.

A sign at the National Bison Range in northwest Montana.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio


New possibilities for management of the National Bison Range north of Missoula are out, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is taking public comment on them at three meetings this week. 

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