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HELENA — A bill meant to combat "revenge porn" seemed on its way to passage earlier this week in the Montana Legislature until an unexpected and still-unclear turn of events doomed it.

Two days after the state Senate gave the measure its initial blessings on a 39-11 vote, the chamber unanimously killed it. The unusual 50-0 vote Friday brought murmurs on the Senate floor.

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The bill's main sponsor, Democratic Rep. Ellie Hill Smith of Missoula, blamed a "poison pill" that was dropped into the bill earlier in the week but she couldn't fully explain what occurred. She said the ramifications of the amendment were obviously not understood when senators endorsed the amended bill.

The measure had sought to make it illegal to distribute sexual images of a person without their consent.

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