Governor Vetoes SB 71 – Rosendale Blames Drug Companies
Montana’s Insurance Commissioner and State Auditor Matt Rosendale was livid on Thursday after learning that Governor Steve Bullock vetoed Senate Bill 71, that would have helped lower prescription drug costs for thousands of Montanans.
“SB 71 was a piece of legislation that we spent about two years putting together, that would reduce the cost of prescription drugs for the people of Montana,” said Rosendale. “This is the only one that is really going to help lower costs by $7 to $8 million per year and the Governor has just vetoed it.”
Rosendale said the only reason that Bullock would have vetoed a bill that would have benefitted so many Montanans had to be political.
“We’ve got a case study that states that this will work and so the only justification that is real has got to be politics, strictly politics,” he said. “Governor Bullock decided to side with insurance companies and the multi-billion dollar pharmacy benefit manager companies and left Montanans out in the cold.”
Rosendale said the only remedy to Bullock’s action is for the Legislature to override his veto.
“We had such overwhelming bipartisan support and large votes as we went through the session that SB 71 is automatically eligible for a veto override,” he said. “Legislative Services will automatically send out a ballot to see if the legislators would like to override this. It needs to be two-thirds of each chamber. It’s not two-thirds average across the whole legislature; you’ve got to have two-thirds in each chamber.”
Rosendale said he called KGVO News as he was returning from Washington, D.C. after conferring with President Trump and other officials looking for ways to reduce healthcare costs for Americans.
“There are times when the Governor is going to have to give some cooperation, and this week he just didn’t give us that cooperation,” he said.