Montana News

Nov 16, 2012 6:32 PM by Marnee Banks - MTN News

Bullock begins transitioning as governor

HELENA - The sign to his office is printed on computer paper, and just this week someone stole his parking spot.

Governor Elect Steve Bullock (D) laughs about the chaos but says this transition period is an exciting time.

"We are reaching out to all Montanans across this state, asking for their interest in joining our administration. We are working to put together a team that will work for all Montanans," Bullock says. "We will also be working on the budget and legislative proposals."

Bullock says his budget will include property tax rebates, freezing college tuition, raises for state workers and infrastructure development for colleges and the areas impacted by the oil boom.

"We'll make sure that whatever we present when the Legislature comes to town reflects my values and priorities," Bullock says.

He wants to work with Republican leadership in the Legislature.

"We can do that and we can craft a solution that works together and hopefully we will get there. By the same token, I will make sure we are focusing on what's best for Montana," Bullock says. "If [Republican legislators] are bringing me bills on the gold standard, we won't go there."

While Bullock is inheriting a budget surplus from Governor Brian Schweitzer (D), he probably won't be inheriting Schweitzer's legendary veto brands.

"He still has a pen that he can use in this room and it will be very difficult for them to take away the successes of the last eight years and I am sure that Steve Bullock will continue to grow on those successes in the future," Schweitzer says. "I believe Montana is in very good hands with the next governor."

"I'm humbled and honored and I take that responsibility very seriously," Bullock says. "Now I am honored and excited to get to fulfill those promises."

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