House Minority Leader Casey Schreiner, D-Great Falls, addresses the interim House Rules Committee on Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018. Credit: Eliza Wiley / MTFP

Democrats may be in the minority in the Legislature, but the governor’s veto pen gives them a seat at the table

Democrats haven’t had a ruling majority in the Montana House of Representatives since 1991, and yet they still manage to get some of their legislative priorities passed each session.


Rep. Casey Schreiner

Montana Rep. Casey Schreiner says it comes down to pragmatism and bipartisanship.

“Through this whole time in the Legislature, I really have tried to focus my vision on being pragmatic and accomplishing goals,” said Schreiner, the House Minority Leader in the 2019 Legislative session. “Let’s make sure we’re pragmatic. Let’s make sure we’re solutions-oriented.”

It takes 51 votes in the House, 26 votes in the Senate, and the signature of the governor for a bill to become law. That means the success of any legislation relies on some level of bipartisanship. From health care, to education, to infrastructure, some across-the-aisle cooperation is required if the state is going to adopt a balanced budget before the 90 legislative days are up.

In Episode 2 of the Montana Lowdown podcast, House Minority Leader Casey Schreiner talks about the importance of working across the aisle to get work done that benefits the majority of Montanas.

Montana Lowdown podcast features in-depth conversations with top newsmakers, journalists, politicians, and experts about significant issues facing America’s “last best place.” Hosted by veteran award-winning journalist and Montana Free Press founder John S. Adams. subscribe to the Montana Lowdown podcast on iTunes, Google PlaySpotify, or Stitcher.

Montana Free Press was founded by veteran award-winning investigative and political reporter John S. Adams. John was formerly the Capital Bureau Chief of the Great Falls Tribune and a correspondent for USA TODAY. John is known as a dogged investigator and the host of the MT Lowdown podcast whose unbiased reporting has changed the shape of Montana politics. Contact John at, or follow him on Twitter.