House endorses bill on governor's use of state airplane

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Montana House has endorsed a bill that would require the governor to reimburse the state for use of the state airplane that includes campaign stops.

Republican Rep. Brad Tschida said that House Bill 255 was not directed at Gov. Steve Bullock, who cannot seek re-election. The bill passed 59-41 on second reading on Monday. It faces a third-reading before it can move on to the Senate.

Opponents argued the bill was vague and would lead to numerous complaints that the commissioner of political practices would have to investigate.

Republican Rep. Forrest Mandeville of Columbus said the bill would ensure that no matter who is governor, they could not use state resources for campaigning.

Bullock's campaign reimbursed the state just over $2,600 in March for the time pilots spent waiting while Bullock attended campaign events after traveling for state business.