Montana House Rep. Kirk Wagoner, R-Montana City, wants to protect public employees who blow the whistle on government misconduct. He has introduced two bills, HB 202 and HB 208, “that would criminalize attempts by supervisors to retaliate against state employees who report corruption,” attorney and former Rep. Matthew Monforton, R-Bozeman writes.
While Wagoner’s proposals — in lockstep with the First Amendment — should not be about partisan politics, Monforton doubts that House Democrats and the Governor’s office will act accordingly:
Democrats (another group that supposedly looks out for state employees) weren’t impressed. Governor Steve Bullock will never sign a bill that immunizes employees who open closets holding his skeletons.
For his part, and to his credit, Rep. Wagoner has pledged to work with Democrats. From the Helena IR:
Wagoner said he would work with opponents to tweak his bill. For instance, he said he would reduce the penalty so it was not a felony, specify the case would be a private action that could go straight to a judge without investigation, and clarify the law does not cover local governments.
But will Democrats work with him? Monforton offers some excellent suggestions for Republicans in the face of Democrat obstructionism.
Read his entire post here.