HELENA — The House is backing a bill to tighten ethics rules for state officials.
Senate Bill 338 would prevent state officers from using public time, facilities, equipment, supplies, personnel or funds to produce an advertisement or public service announcement.
Exceptions would be made for emergencies or if the announcement is directly related to a program or activity under the officer's jurisdiction.
The bill comes in the wake of an ethics complaint alleging Gov. Brian Schweitzer used state resources in 2008 to tape a public service announcement after he filed for re-election.
The governor's office says no state money was used in producing the announcement and is asking for the case to be dismissed.
The bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Ron Arthun of Wilsall passed an initial House vote Monday, 67-31.
Reps. Kris Hansen, R-Havre, and Wendy Warburton, R-Havre, voted yes. Rep. Tony Belcourt, D-Box Elder, voted no.