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BC-MT--Montana News Digest, MT

February 12, 2019

Montana at 6 p.m.

The desk can be reached at 406-442-7440. For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at apcustomersupport@ap.org or 877-836-9477. For up-to-the minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at newsroom.ap.org.

TOP STORIES:

SUPERMAJORITY RULES

HELENA — Some Montana lawmakers want to make it more difficult to transfer cash out of the state’s fire suppression fund after $30 million went to shore up the state budget in 2017, just before Montana experienced its most expensive fire season ever. That bill and another measure to restrict tax increases would require a two-third vote of the Legislature, instead of the simple majorities now needed. By Amy Beth Hanson. SENT: 450 words.

STAPLETON-ETHICS VIOLATION

HELENA — Secretary of State Corey Stapleton has been fined $4,000 for using state resources to announce he was seeking the Republican nomination for governor in 2020, a state official said Monday. Stapleton used state facilities, equipment, supplies and personnel to make his campaign announcement on Jan. 2, said Jeff Mangan, the commissioner of political practices. He was fined the maximum of $1,000 for each of four violations. SENT: 230 words.

IN BRIEF:

_ GENDER-SPECIFIC GRADUATION GOWNS _ Graduates of a Montana high school may not wear gender-specific caps and gowns to their commencement ceremony this year.

_ MOUNTAIN LION HUNT _ State wildlife officials say hunters in several western Montana hunting districts have met the quota of female mountain lions for the year.

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