AP NEWS

Bill wouldn’t allow governor to use state plane to campaign

April 4, 2017

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Senate has advanced a bill seeking to prohibit the governor from using the state’s aircraft for campaign purposes in the two months before an election.

The Senate endorsed the measure on Tuesday, 30-17, while the House approved it in February. Both votes were mostly along party lines.

Gov. Steve Bullock’s use of the state airplane became a hot political issue during the 2016 campaign. His opponent Greg Gianforte and other Republicans accused Bullock of misusing state resources.

Bullock argued his primary use of the aircraft was for official business, but acknowledged that he also held campaign activities, including fundraisers, during those same trips. His office said the governor’s re-election campaign reimbursed the state $4,700.

The bill also requires the governor to disclose fundraiser attendees.