ENG: Steve Bullock (born April 11, 1966) is the 24th Governor of Montana, in office since January 2013. An attorney by profession, and a Democrat by party affiliation, Bullock previously served as the 23rd Attorney General of Montana from 2009 to 2013.
Early life, education, and law career
Bullock was born in Missoula, Montana and raised in Helena, the state capital, where he graduated from Helena High School in 1984. He received his undergraduate degree from Claremont McKenna College and his law degree with honors from Columbia Law School in New York.
Bullock served as chief legal counsel to Montana Secretary of State Mike Cooney. He went on to work for four years with the Montana Department of Justice under Attorney General Joe Mazurek, first as executive assistant attorney general, and later as acting chief deputy (1997–2001). During this time, he also served as legislative director, coordinating the Attorney General's legislative efforts. As an Assistant Attorney General, Bullock wrote the landmark opinion that guaranteed public access to streams and rivers.
He was unsuccessful in his first race for Montana Attorney General, losing in the 2000 Democratic primary to Mike McGrath, who went on to be elected Attorney General that year and currently serves as Chief Justice of the Montana Supreme Court.
From 2001 to 2004, Bullock practiced law with the Washington, D.C. firm of Steptoe & Johnson. While there, he also served as an adjunct professor at George Washington University Law School. Bullock returned to Montana in 2004, working in private practice in Helena where he represented individuals, consumer organizations, labor unions, peace officers, associations of political subdivisions, and small and large businesses. He ran successfully for Attorney General in 2008.
Bullock was the Democratic nominee for Attorney General in 2008, defeating two other candidates in the primary election in June.
Bullock then went on to win the contested general election race with 52.64% of the vote against Republican Tim Fox. Bullock received 245,669 votes, more than either presidential candidate. As Attorney General, Bullock was the state's chief lawyer and law enforcement officer. He led the Montana Department of Justice, which encompasses the Forensic Science Laboratory, the Montana Highway Patrol, the Motor Vehicle Division, Gambling Control, Legal Services and the Division of Criminal Investigation.
During his tenure as Attorney General, Bullock’s office increased the number of police officers on the street and prosecutors in the courtroom, investigating, arresting and convicting child sex predators. Bullock also pushed for tougher drunken driving laws and a crackdown on prescription drug abuse.
He introduced the 24/7 Sobriety Program for repeat DUI offenders statewide. This program requires repeat drunk drivers to take breath tests twice a day. The program is aimed at keeping highways and communities free of drunk drivers, and keeping non-violent offenders out of jail and off the public rolls. The program has had success in dropping DUI offenses.
The Attorney General’s office also pursued the railroad industry for monopolistic business practices, and led the way in stopping an anti-competitive merger between two the largest meat packers in the country. Bullock focused on the misclassification of employees as independent contractors and allowing FedEx to avoid paying millions in state taxes and fees.
Bullock's efforts resulted in changes by FedEx to comply with federal and state laws.
Bullock attracted national attention by challenging the Supreme Court's Citizens United through his defense of Montana’s 100-year old ban on corporate campaign expenditures. After winning in the Montana Supreme Court, the Supreme Court ruled against the State of Montana in a narrow 5-4 decision.
Bullock, who authored the state’s opinion guaranteeing access to rivers, streams, and public lands, worked with the legislature and Governor Brian Schweitzer to codify the access opinion into law.
Governor of Montana - Elections
Bullock announced on September 7, 2011 that he would be a candidate for the Democratic nomination for Governor of Montana in 2012. In the Democratic primary, Bullock faced off against Helena resident Heather Margolis. Bullock won with 87% of the vote.
He and his running mate, General John Walsh, proposed a jobs plan that focuses on small and medium sized Montana businesses as the engines of job creation. Bullock and Gen.
Walsh call for:
- Streamlining the regulatory permitting process and establishing a new permit tracking system,
- Ensuring that government services meet the demands of job creators,
- Supporting rapid growth in eastern Montana by making sure communities receive funds before or in preparation for natural resource development rather than afterwards,
- Promoting the hiring of Montanans first for jobs inside the state paid for by taxpayers’ money,
- Expanding in-state business activity to create a business climate that spurs faster expansion and greater business-to-business activity among Montana companies,
- Further reforming Montana’s workers’ compensation system to reduce the number of workers who are injured or killed on the job, getting injured workers back to work as soon as possible and controlling medical costs.
- Requiring major firms that are awarded state contracts to subcontract a substantial percentage of their work to in-state businesses.
Bullock proposed a $400 property tax rebate for homeowners in Montana to spur job creation and refund a portion of the state’s $400 million budget surplus.
General John Walsh, Bullock’s running mate, is the former Adjutant General of the Montana National Guard. Bullock won the election, held on November 6, 2012.
Governor Bullock and his Lieutenant Governor John Walsh were sworn in on January 7, 2013.