HELENA — Montana Gov. Steve Bullock has vetoed a bill that would have allowed government workers to sue if their supervisors obstruct them from communicating with a legislator.

House Bill 202 sponsor Republican Rep. Kirk Wagoner of Montana City describes the measure as a whistleblower protection bill. It would subject supervisors to a $5,000 fine and other damages for impeding employees from discussing matters of public concern with lawmakers.

Bullock vetoed the bill last Thursday, while the state Legislature was on a break from the session.

The governor wrote in his veto letter that the bill is too broad and that it would lead to frivolous lawsuits by disgruntled employees. Bullock also says existing law already allows state employees to report waste, fraud and abuse to legislators.

House Speaker Austin Knudsen says the veto will allow retaliation against public workers.

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