Attorney General issues legal opinion that Burgum overstepped his bounds with vetoes

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Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem has issued a legal opinion that Governor Doug Burgum overstepped some of his bounds when he vetoed portions of bills at the end of the legislative session.

Stenehjem said in his ruling the governor may not veto conditions in spending bills without vetoing the appropriation.

Burgum may, however, veto portions of spending bills not dealing with spending money or if the bill could still work as law after the veto.

The attorney general also said the Legislative Assembly would not violate the state's constitution if it decided to study public employee's health care, state revenues or economic activity.

Stenehjem's opinion governs the actions of public officials until the full question can be decided in courts.

The full opinion is attached to this article.

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