Arguments conclude in lawsuit over Montana marijuana tax bill veto

Arguments conclude in lawsuit over Montana marijuana tax bill veto

Oral arguments wrapped up in a lawsuit over what's become a controversial veto by Montana Gov Greg Gianforte.

Senate Bill 442 earmarks funding from marijuana tax revenue for behavioral health and addiction services as well as construction and maintenance of county roads.

Montana lawmakers passed the measure with strong bipartisan support in the House and Senate. But Gianforte vetoed the bill on May 2, the day after legislators approved it.

Several groups filed suit arguing the legislature should have the chance to override the veto because the bill passed with a two-thirds majority.

“This was a bipartisan bill. This was one that huge numbers of both Republicans and Democrats supported. And so, at the end of the day, this is about the proper functioning of government but also in service of a specific bill that is truly for everyone,” Upper Seven Law executive director Rylee Sommers-Flanagan told NBC Montana.

We reached out to an attorney who argued on behalf of Gianforte. They declined an interview.

An attorney who argued on behalf of Montana Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen sent us a statement.

“The secretary takes her oath to the people of the state of Montana very seriously. Today's argument was made very clear that Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen has followed and will continue to follow all laws. She is honored to serve the people of Montana. We're very confident that Secretary Jacobsen will be dismissed from this case,” chief legal counsel Austin James said.

We'll continue to follow this lawsuit and let you know what happens.

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Region: Montana

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